Above: Burning house. Image by DepositPhotos.
The ICT Association of Saint Lucia (SLICTA), joins the nation in expressing its sadness at the damage caused by the fire which struck the Folk Research Centre (FRC) on the night of Sunday 25th March 2018. The loss of priceless cultural artifacts which showcase Saint Lucia’s proud history and heritage, is a severe loss to us all.
It is also lamentable that despite numerous calls and considerations for digitizing the FRC’s materials, books, images and recordings over the years, prompt action did not materialize to safeguard these cultural assets. By no means is this matter and the risks indicated, limited solely to the unfortunate incident at the FRC!
SLICTA wishes to note, that there is a difference and separation from the digitizing process (conversion to electronic format for storage and archival) and the presentation (how material is accessed, searched and ultimately presented).
Unfortunately, the search for an adequate presentation solution, in many instances, unnecessarily hampers or postpones the digitization and archival process, thus extending the risks and exposure due to loss from environmental or other disasters.
At this time, we remind the public of the need to protect sensitive paper-based or analog assets by scanning, photographing, and otherwise digitizing such media.
In particular, SLICTA reminds the public of the following:
Valuable files and analog records should be protected as a matter of priority.
Digitizing your photographs, recordings, and other historical records is highly recommended, to extend the life and value of the original item.
Digital media can be readily displayed within a virtual museum or a website.
Digitized media should be backed-up to maintain resilience in the face of disaster.
Do not rely on a single backup. Always have more than one copy available.
It is not advisable to store backups in the same location as the original data.
Ultimately, the costs associated with digitizing and safeguarding historical records should easily outweigh the trauma and tragedy of outright loss and destruction.
Digitized copies of valuable records can be authenticated to establish their provenance.
Custodians of important historical records may contact the ICT Association at 758-285-6621 or email, for further advice on protecting these records by digitization, data security, and information archival.