Tamil organisations: How to preserve documents safely and take good care of in the diaspora?

All Tamil organisations should come forward to make a plan to preserve their historical documents in the diaspora and make them available to public access. This is the DsporA Tamil Archive´s humble request to all Tamil organisations in this November month of the Great Heroes Day (Maveerer Naal) or the Tamil National Remembrance Day.

Graphic: Baheerathy Kumarendiran. “Maveerer Naal” (The Great Heores Day) (2005).

Which records can be generated in your organisational activity?

Examples of published documents

  • Information reports/ letters to the public
  • Press release
  • Annual report
  • Annual plan
  • All types of registry form to the public
  • Sample of participation certificate
  • Contest results (i.e. drawing competition winners)
  • Publications

Examples of unpublished documents

  • Administrative documents (i.e. statute, procedures, rules, guidelines)
  • Emails, letters, and other communications sent to the organisation by the public.
  • The organisation´s responses to the general public by email, letters, and other communications.
  • Meeting minutes
  • Monthly report
  • Data collected from registration forms to the public.
  • Contest participents´ details
  • Contributions in a competition (i.e. drawing submissions for a drawing competition)
  • Complaints
  • Reports on handling the complaints

How can organisations implement documentation and archive practices?

  1. Identify records generated in the activities of your organisation that have archival value.
  2. Centralise e-mail and post-reception, as well as social media reception of messages from and to the public.
  3. Create a system for those records into a record-keeping system.
  4. After 5-10 years, preserve those records that are no longer needed for your organization’s administrative needs.
  5. Find out where your historical documents can be safely preserved for 100 years or more.
  6. Give public access to your historical documents.
  7. You can implement «record-keeping and archiving» in your organisation’s statute to keep your organisation’s internal record-keeping and archiving practices continue smoothly in the future, despite administrative changes. Along with that, you can create a guide with a record-keeping and archiving plan, and rules of procedures.
  8. Find a person in your organisation who can do record-keeping and records management.
  9. Arrange or sign-up that person for knowledge enhancement about record-keeping and records management.

How can archive collectors improve their collection activity?

  • Create a plan to preserve your documents from natural disasters, man-made disasters, technological disasters, and other disasters.
  • Purpose of documentation is public use. So, documents need to be read and understood despite technological development.
  • Create a plan for digital migration for converting documents from one media platform to another to adopt technological development. (i.e. digitalise VHS videotape).
  • Preserving the original analogue material after digitalising a document.
  • Develop a plan to preserve digital documents as authentic documents that are not subject to manipulation.
  • Purpose of documentation is public use. Give public access to your documents.

Share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions on how to preserve Tamil documents safely in the diaspora with us.

புதுப்பிப்பு│Update: 29.11.2020

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