This from a Papua New Guinea newspaper:
PNG's historical records vanishing
By PETER KORUGL
HISTORICAL and rare records about Papua New Guinea's diverse
traditions and events dating back to the 1930s are disappearing.
This is because archives and public libraries have closed or are on
the verge of closing due to lack of funds, maintenance and modern equipment.
According to reports from the Office of Libraries and Archives,
records and materials including books were slowing deteriorating
because of poor care.
The National Archives and Public Records Services runs two archives,
the main one in Port Moresby and a branch in Lae, which has no
records of deals, transactions and activities involving governments
and their agencies dating back to 1990.
The building housing the archive was built in the 1950s and is deteriorating.
"We need at least K10,000 to do up the whole place and fix the air
condition. The humidity and heat are affecting papers. We also need
computers to store all our records.
"The papers are becoming brittle and breaking up," Lendy Som, officer
in charge of the Lae archive, said.
According to the National Library Services, the 26 public libraries
built in all provinces and some districts in the early 1960s were all
Provincial governments had failed to adequately fund and maintain
libraries, resulting in only 11 libraries operating.
Those that have closed are Lorengau, Vanimo, Wewak, Arawa, Bulolo,
Popondetta, Samarai, Misima, Daru, Kerema, Kainantu, Mount Hagen,
Wabag, Kwikila and Lae.
The large volumes or recorded oral tradition are also disappearing as
the National Broadcasting Corporation does not have the proper
equipment to play the recordings.
The 19 radio stations were started in the early 1970s and the
recording of legends, myths, interviews, events, traditional songs
and string band music date back some 35 years. The large volumes of
records stored in the stations' sound libraries were slowly
deteriorating because the tapes and equipment were old and outdated.
"It's a huge volume of recordings that NBC has now when you take into
account all the materials that are kept in all the sound libraries of
provincial radio stations. These records are national assets and they
could be lost forever when proper care is not provided.
"I am seeking extra funds from the Morobe provincial government to
upgrade and refurbish the sound library with Radio Morobe," Henry
Tamarua, director of Radio Morobe, said.
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