Mauritius focuses on digitisation


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Mauritius focuses on digitisation

The Mauritian Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) aims to facilitate the digitisation of archived material to make it more widely available.

The Authority said it participated in the recent digitisation information sharing conference of the ITU in Geneva with a view to discovering more about digitisation procedures and practices, as it is currently seeking to convert analogue information to a digital format.

ICTA said: “There is a demand for such materials from researchers, historians, genealogists and students and academia not just within Mauritius but from overseas. Making the holdings available online is one of the challenges being addressed by the National Archives and the National Library. The National Archives has begun a phased digitisation programme since 2009 of all its historical collections and holdings. Under Phase one it aims to digitise some 530,000 pages by the end of November 2012. This material will be made available online."

"The digitisation projects of the National Library and National Archives are seen as critical for the cultural heritage since digitization offers the greatest advantages in terms of space, storage, quality and access to the original documents.”

Earlier this year, ICTA partnered with the University of Technology and began work to encourage digitisation by holding a multi-stakeholder workshop on Preservation, Conservation and Digital Archiving.  The workshop brought together key institutions like the National Library, the National Archives, the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, Mauritius College of the Air,  the print media and individuals with sizeable private collections of materials. A number of presentations were made giving an insight into the projects underway or in the pipeline by the different players.

ICTA says one of the key recommendations which emerged out of the workshop was for the players implementing projects in digitisation or who have an interest in the process to be regrouped under an umbrella organisation or association to consolidate their efforts.  The other was the recognized need for policy guidance and consistent monitoring in order to optimize on the efforts being undertaken by different government bodies.  

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