Digitisation: A panacea for increased access to historical information at the National Archives of Zambia
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Digitization which is the process of converting analogy information into digital format is mostly meant to safeguard and ensure the preservation of the most valuable and perishable components of the archival information as well as make it more accessible and facilitate their future fruition by a broader number of researchers and interested parties. The paper discusses the research which was undertaken at the National Archives of Zambia whose main objective was to assess the utilization of digitized archival information by researchers at National Archives of Zambia. The study population consisted of all the 120 registered researchers. The findings of the study revealed that all while the majority of researchers were able to access digitized information whilst at the National Archives of Zambia, they did not know initially that most of the historical information was digitized. It was thus recommended that National Archives of Zambia members of staff should guide researchers by providing information on what has been digitized and can be accessed on the computer terminals. A guide or manual should be given to all researchers especially those using the National Archives for the first time. Furthermore, the study revealed that the majority of the researcher considered using computer terminals in accessing archival information faster as people could access the same information at the same time. However, researchers were concerned with the inadequacy of computers at the National Archives of Zambia. It was thus recommended that National Archives of Zambia should provide more computers for researchers to use to access digitised archival information. It was finally concluded that the provision of digitised archival information allows users to access the required information effectively and efficiently.