Comma

Lest they be forgotten: archives, recordkeeping, and cultural heritage preservation in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (and Micronesia)

Comma (2011), 2011, (1), 61–71.

Abstract

In the impressive initiatives that seek to take care of archives and records in our society, it is important that marginalized communities are not excluded. This paper draws attention to the state of archives in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the CNMI), as well as on other marginalized islands in Micronesia. On these islands, Western notions of archives, libraries, and museums were imposed, without much regard for traditional and indigenous ways. Today, these cultural institutions are suffering, like other institutions worldwide, from a declining economy, budget constraints, lack of resources and trained staff, and lack of support from funders and policymakers. Nevertheless, there are several steps that the communities may take towards sustainable archives and cultural institutions. For example, they can develop an archival system that takes into consideration the various factors that shape their archives, records, and cultural heritage resources and collections and reflects the needs of the indigenous, as well as the immigrant, population. The ICA (including PARBICA), beginning with its Universal Declaration on Archives and Principles of Access to Archives, can assist these islands in taking the necessary steps towards preserving their archives, records, and cultural heritage resources.

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Author details

Salvatore, Cecilia