Researcher’s perception on access regulations in the usage of archival materials: a case study of the National Archives of Zambia.

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Chileshe, Lombe
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The University of Zambia
The aim of this study was to assess researcher’s perception on access regulations in the usage of archival materials at the National Archives of Zambia. The objectives of the research were: to determine the educational levels of researchers that patronize National Archives of Zambia; to determine the extent to which archival materials are used; to investigate researcher’s perception towards access regulations in the usage of archival materials; and to determine which of the regulations researchers consider to be hampering their research and need to be reviewed. Primary data relating to the research objectives was collected using purposive sampling through a questionnaire and interviews as only fifty questionnaires were distributed to researchers who were available at the time and had a 100% return. Research findings revealed that both male and female have access to archival materials and it also revealed that their educational level had a bearing on research. The majority of these researchers are undergraduates representing 68%. It was also revealed that the majority of the researchers used archival materials once per week representing 48% and that archival materials ensure records are available for various research. It was further revealed that researchers attach great importance to the historical value of archival materials. The majority of researchers representing 68% observed that access regulations safeguard integrity of archival materials and lastly the majority of researchers revealed that restricting them to a certain number of documents at a time is likely to affect the use of archival materials. Archives are unique and rare materials which require regulations to protect and guide their access, as regulations are put in place to protect them and ensure that right procedures and processes are in place. In view of the above, there is need to review some of the conditions under the access regulations in order to enhance research and further sensitize the researchers on the value of archival materials and activities.
Archives--Administration. , Archival materials--Management. , Archives--Zambia--Periodicals. , National Archives of Zambia. , Archives--Administration--History--Bibliography.