Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 23, 2016 (SKNIS): The value of historical records to a nation’s present and future was highlighted by the National Archivist of St. Kitts and Nevis, Victoria O’Flaherty, on this week’s edition of the radio and television programme “Working for You.”
Mrs. O’Flaherty said the National Archives possesses records of “historical importance” in varying formats, including paper documents, digital formats, photos, maps and even reel to reel tapes of sittings of the National Assembly from the 1950s. A record of births and deaths, land ownership documents and other valuable records are all stored in the vaults of the National Archives at Government Headquarters.
“Government needs to look after its own records and that’s where records management and proper record keeping come in,” she stated, noting that a greater appreciation for the nation’s growth is spurring better record keeping.
The National Archives was able to showcase some of its valuable content at the recent Sugar Festival and Exhibition held at the St. Kitts Eco-Park. It was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Eco-Park and aimed to highlight the country’s rich sugar history. Reproduced photos of plantation and sugar production and enslavement were on display. Some shots of the St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC), the factory school and its social center were also exhibited as well as the fortification, means of transportation and the wealth of planters.
Documents at the department essentially allow anyone reviewing the information to be transported in time and the National Archivist said the world would be “a sad place” if the population forgets its past.
“I can’t imagine not being able to go to my little drawer at home where I keep my grandmother’s and my mother’s photographs and the letters I wrote to my husband; and the letters I wrote to my parents,” she said, noting that these will become the possession of her children after she has passed – helping to keep the memories and the story alive.
The story of more and more persons will live on in the National Archives as the list of personal records being submitted by individuals and other organizations such as churches is growing.