Cyprus Mail

State has archived 18.5km of documents

health minister anna procopiou
Justice Minister Anna Procopiou

In its 45 years of operation, the state archive has preserved records that fill almost 20 kilometres of shelves with information from the public and private sector, Justice Minister Anna Procopiou said on Tuesday.

She explained that the International Council on Archives has dedicated the current week to archiving, with the aim of highlighting the usefulness of archives in society and good governance while also raising public awareness on their importance and value.

In this vein, starting in 2022, the state archive has organised its conferences as part of its efforts to cultivate archival awareness, both in the public sector and in society in general, she said, adding that the first conference aimed at promoting the archival institutions that operate in Cyprus, and introduce the public to the archival material they host within the digital environment.

As the largest and most important institution of its kind in Cyprus, the state archive supports smaller archives and is looking towards the creation of a body that will hold official responsibility for guiding, coordinating and implementing international archival standards in Cyprus, she said, pledging her ministry’s support in this effort.

Noting that the state archive celebrates 45 years in operation this year, Procopiou said that it has stored over 18.5 kilometres of shelves of records that it preserves, conserves and digitises to make them more accessible to the public.

At the same time, it provides important services both to the government and to the general public, serving both electronic and physical requests, “with reduced staff and resources, but thanks to the love of its employees,” she said.

Hundreds of documents, most in poor condition, are being processed in the archive’s labs, and include maps, images, photographs, letters and architectural plans, which are immediately digitised to avoid further deterioration, she added.

Meanwhile in its reading room, more than 150 individual researchers are served each year and requests for inspection are processed with an average annual term of more than 4,500 files.

The justice minister said her ministry has long supported the institution in the service of researchers, both during the preparation of the reading room and through the cabinet decisions it promoted, such as the recent granting of the right to researchers to photograph the archives for free.

This will fully be realised with the construction of the new building hosting the archives, administration building and laboratories of the state archive, which is a priority for the justice ministry, she said.

Deputy superintendent of the state archive Christos Kyriakides stressed the importance of the State Archives institution in the smooth operation of archives in Cyprus in general, pledging its continued support for private archival institutions and in the efforts to cultivate a proper archival culture.

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