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Digital historical records

Solomone Rabulu
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WORKS on digitising historic records of Indian and Melanesian indentured labourers who came to Fiji between 1879 and 1916 will soon begin, says National Archives of Fiji's acting principal archives Timoci Balenaivalu.

Mr Balenaivalu said they were working with the University of the South Pacific (USP) and Tadra Pasifika History Students Association to identify student volunteers for the event.

"We are looking to recruit about 70 youths, student volunteers to assist us with data entry of historic records of Indian and Melanesian indentured labourers who came to Fiji," Mr Balenaivalu said.

"The aim is to make history publicly available to Fijians and also ease access for members of the public who wished to access information on this piece of history."

USP's history lecturer Nicholas Halter said the history department at USP was passionate about creating forums for Pacific Islanders in the region to engage in open discussion, debate and write about their histories.

"The school of social sciences is supporting this initiative by allocating research funds for the event," Mr Halter said.

"The launch of digitised records of indenture coincides with USP's 50th anniversary celebrations, and we hope this event will generate more interest in history at USP and inspire people in the community to begin their own historical research."

Mr Halter said USP planned to conduct more public history events this year in collaboration with the friends of the Fiji Museum and the National Archives, including fundraising for a new digital microfilm machine that the archives reading room desperately needed.

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