National Archives of Malawi
Fire struck Malawi’s National Archives in 1919 (then called the Secretariat) and a good part of our heritage was lost. The current archives (over 100 000 m3) are still at risk, with most of them in analogue (print) form and at risk from both natural elements and physical destruction. They are mostly kept in conditions that are not ideal.
For the Digitally correct: Preserving Malawi’s historical manuscripts project, we aim to digitise historical manuscripts housed in the National Archives of Malawi and build a modern digital repository to host them. We have already digitised their indexes comprising two volumes (691 pages). These manuscripts are among the most intensively consulted, serving the research needs of a broad and diverse scholarly and non-scholarly community. They are also the most vulnerable. They include complete manuscripts, handwritten documents, typed correspondence, journals, diaries, deeds, interviews, and other documents of significant to the history and heritage of Malawi. These manuscripts are only found in Malawi at these archives, unlike other collections, such as colonial archival records, that are also held in archives in the United Kingdom.
Our close association with the National Archives of Malawi dates back to 2014 when, under the Prince Claus funded WikiAfrica project, we digitised images from the archives and deposited them on Commons, a repository for Wikipedia, other Wikimedia projects.