Resource Depository and Knowledge Creation: The role of the National Archives of Zambia, 1935-2006
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This study is an attempt to demonstrate and illustrate the role of the National Archives of Zambia in contributing to knowledge and national development through promotion of research. It examines the development of the National Archives from 1935 to 2006 by analysing and highlighting its legal framework, preservation strategies and archival resources in the context of their role in facilitating research for knowledge and national development. Theoretically, it underscores the role of the National Archives as a public institution that legally acquires,preserves and provides access to information of archival nature for research. The history and development of archival activities in Zambia is illustrated in the context of archival legislative framework. The initial archival legislation formulated in the colonial period facilitated the creation of a joint archival institution and services for the Central African territories of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Archives legislation formulated during the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland influenced the way archival services were provided in all the three territories. In the Post-Independence period archival legislation was much more detailed because of changing ideas on how archival services were to be provided. The legislation only guided the management of public records, archives and printed publications created within Zambia. The study further highlights the preservation strategies and measures implemented in the colonial and post-independence periods to prolong the life span of archival resources in the custody of archival institutions for research purposes. Although some preservation practices conducted in the colonial period were carried on in the post-independence period, new advanced preservation approaches were adopted in the light of changes in technology of information production. It is also demonstrated that the preservation of various information resources in the archival institution attracted a wide variety of research interests both in the colonial and post independence period.It is further established that the provision of archival services both in the colonial and post colonial period encountered various challenges. Some of the challenges experienced in the colonial period remained and persisted even in the post-independence period.