MICROGRAPHIC equipment at the National Archives of Fiji have been fine-tuned by two Japanese specialists in a follow-up project.
The original $600,000 project for the supply of micrographic equipment to the National Archives was initially carried out in 2003 by the Japanese government. Since then the equipment has contributed greatly in strengthening and supporting extremely valuable cultural artefacts dealing with Fiji's history.
Two Japanese specialists have been called in as part of a response to a request by the National Archives to assist in highly technical repairs.
Mikio Ikeda and Eiichi Ogino have been in Fiji since February 25 working with National Archives engineers.
Government archivist Opeta Alefaio said proper repair of the equipment would enable the Archives Microfilm Unit to resume production of microfilm masters of important historical documents.
These materials directly increase the lifespan of the original paper-based records by reducing wear and tear. By having microfilmed versions, the information is accessible in a way that does not threaten the physical condition of the original document.
He said this would increase the accessibility of information to researchers.
One microfilm reel can contain many documents, which means researchers are able to undertake much more research than they would if they had to search through ponderous volumes and fragile documents, he added.
"Since 2003 we have had a very cordial and productive working relationship with our Japanese counterparts," Mr Alefaio said.
"The technical team has visited us numerous times since 2003 and has been extremely effective. During their visits they also impart knowledge and share experiences with our team which adds even more value to this initiative."
"We are extremely grateful to the government and people of Japan for making this possible."