??This is how it is??done: Senior Archives Technical Assistant, Hector Browne, explaining conservation methods to Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, while Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Shirley Farnum, looks on.??(A. Miller/BGIS)

Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, has appealed to Barbadians to become more familiar with the Barbados Department of Archives so they can find out about the island’s past.

After a recent tour of that Black Rock based institution, Mr. Lashley said: "I have asked the staffers of the Department to make it [the organisation] available to the young people so they can understand what is there and learn about the very rich history of Barbados.

"I recognise there is a need to review the legislation governing the Archives to ensure there is an adequate succession plan so the skills of archivists and those involved in restoration and preservation are not lost."

The Minister stressed that the Barbados Department of Archives was essential to government, describing it as a repository for important records.

According to him, the data available there included information on various plantations dating back to the 16th Century and the private collection of some of our esteemed leaders and writers.

Mr. Lashley proffered the view that the department should focus more on explaining its work to the public. He complimented the staffers for the "highly competent skills they possess" and suggested it was necessary to expose young people to their expertise.

The Barbados Department of Archives was established in 1964 and is the official repository for public archives in the island. It has records from government agencies, as well as private organisations, and these are in the form of documents, maps and photographs.


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