By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Wednesday, 21 September 2016, launched a two year project under its Research Documentation and Division (RDD) to translate, transcribe and digitalise Gambian history.
Mr. Hasoum Ceesay, senior NCAC official, said the project, to be implemented by the NCAC, is sponsored by Hamburg University in Germany and will involve their German counterparts as well as History students from the University of The Gambia on the transcription, translation and digitalisation of the archives of the NCAC to be well conserved, protected and accessible.
Mr. Ceesay, in an interview with this reporter on Thursday 22 September 2016, at the NCAC Research Centre at Pipeline, disclosed that their German counterparts have provided them with materials, such as computers and scanning machines to facilitate the digitalisation of the histories that were archived during the pre and post-colonial periods, including the recent times, and pertaining to the socio cultural and economic lives of people living in the Gambia as well as the sub region.
“The main aim of the project is to translate, transcribe and digitalise the archives of the Gambian history stored in their archives for many years, to be digitalised for easy access,” he remarked.
The senior NCAC offical further noted that the NCAC is gearing towards adopting the modern technology of keeping and conservation of files to be much safer and easily accessible to the people.
“It has no use if you have an archive and nobody is using it. So therefore the project will help people to be able to access any information they want with regards to the history of the Gambia in all parts of life and to access it with a click of a button online,” he disclosed.
He also noted the importance of the project for research purposes, especially for students going to the university.
Mr. Ceesay said they are also working on a research permit that will enable one to access the NCAC archives online if one pays which, he noted, is also part of the project.
The senior NCAC official also noted that many of their materials are kept in cassette players and other gadgets which, he said, with time, will phase out. He added that all these important audio files will be converted and kept in a digitalised format which is safer and easier to access.
He further added that the other written documents will also be scanned and digitalised.