National Archive of Namibia receives new microfilm scanner through German Cultural Preservation Programme

A microfilm scanner is standing next to a computer on a desk.

The microfilm scanner was funded by the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal German Government., © German Embassy Windhoek

09.10.2020 - Press release

The German Embassy Windhoek has provided funding to the value of about N$248,000 (ca. EUR 12,000.00) to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for the procurement of a Microfilm scanner to be used at the National Archive of Namibia. With the microfilm scanner it will possible to read as well as digitize material stored on microfilm at the National Archives and thus make such information accessible to researchers and interested citizens.

Nine persons standing in front of the building of the Namibian National Archive.
(from left to right)Kobus Van der Merwe (Supplier), Staff Member, Sarah Negumbo (Director for Namibia Library & Archive Services), Werner Hillebrecht (former Chief Archivist for National Archives of Namibia), Esther Moombolah-Gôagoses (acting Deputy ED for Department of Life-Long-Learning, Arts & Culture), Ellen Gölz, (Chargeé d’Affaires a.i. German Embassy Windhoek), Staff Member, Namutenya Hamwaalwa (Deputy Director for Namibia Library & Archive Services), Staff Member© German Embassy Windhoek

Ellen Gölz, Chargée d’Affaires of the German Embassy Windhoek, said during the official hand-over of the scanner on 07 October 2020 “National archives guard the memories of a nation and are a valuable source of information for its citizens. We are glad to be able to support the National Archives of Namibia in their endeavor to make historical documents accessible to Namibians.”

Ms. Beauty Matongo, the Chief Archivist at the National Archives of Namibia, said: “The National Archives preserves 7 linear meters of microfilm, and one of its goals is to provide information and promote research. However, since 2012, these information resources had been inaccessible due to the lack of replay machines. For this reason, the German Government responded positively to this quest and acquired a microfilm scanner for the National Archives.

The procurement and the donation of a microfilm scanner by the German Embassy has made things easier for the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, in particular the National Archives of Namibia, as it is addressing prior challenges of lack of resources faced by the National Archives. The users and the Institution are now afforded opportunities for reading as well as for digitization of material stored on microfilm, as the information is now accessible to the public, researchers and interested persons.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture appreciates the kind gesture accorded by the German Government, and that they have fulfilled one of the most important elements of human right which requires individuals to have the rights to access records and information. The sincere generosity of the Germany Government will always be remembered and appreciated.”

Three persons are standing next to the scanner watching while another person is demonstrating the use of the machine.
Demonstration of the new scanner during the hand-over ceremony on 7 October 2020.© German Embassy Windhoek

• Since 1981, Germany has supported the preservation of cultural heritage in developing countries and of German cultural heritage abroad, as part of the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office. As part of this Programme, Namibia so far has received ca. 1 million Euros for the preservation of cultural heritage since 1985.
• The National Archives of Namibia (NAN) maintains the institutional memory of Government Ministries, Offices and Agencies, collects and preserves the nation’s history and unpublished documentary heritage, and supports education and research by providing access to these resources. NAN is also mandated to supervise and provide training in records management in all Government Offices, Ministries and Agencies as well as Parastatals.

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