In commemoration of International Archives Day on the 9th of June, the National Library and Archives (NLA) organized a series of events to highlight its pivotal role in safeguarding the United Arab Emirates rich heritage.
Through these initiatives, the NLA emphasized its commitment to granting researchers access to invaluable historical records and ensuring their preservation for the benefit of future generations. The celebrations served as a testament to the NLA’s dedication to preserving the UAE’s cultural legacy and promoting a deeper understanding of its history.
On the occasion, the NLA underscored the urgent need to preserve the digital documents of governments, amid the world’s rapid digital transformation.
Upon the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the NLA was established in 1968. Hamad Al Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department, gave a lecture titled “Digital Government Empowerment,” which explained the NLA’s role and achievements.
Al Mutairi stressed the importance of keeping digital files safe and sustainable and discussed the strategic objectives and priorities of the digital government.
He also affirmed the need for more collaborations among various entities to safeguard files and make them accessible.
Moreover, the NLA organized an exhibition showcasing historical photos documenting the UAE’s social history in the 1960s and before the country’s establishment.
“Everyone keeps archives, in a private or professional setting. Through this universal day, we wish to democratize the profession of archivist and improve the perception of the general public regarding the notion of archive,” said David Leitch, Secretary General of the International Council on Archives (ICA).
Since its creation in 2008, International Archives Day aims to raise awareness among the public, of the importance of archives as the memory of nations and societies; they provide the foundation for their identities and are a key element of the information society and constitute a cultural heritage and a leading source of information. The archival heritage is an important testimony to the economic, political, social, and cultural development of mankind.
By documenting activities and decisions, archives ensure both the continuity of organizations and the justification of their rights, as well as those of individuals and states.