Fiji’s historical archival footage will soon be accessible to all Fijians through a comprehensive restoration and digitization process.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says the National Archives of Fiji has in its storage, footage of irreplaceable history including Fiji’s colonial past, sporting achievements and cultural events.
“This is unique footage, many of which does not exist anywhere else in the world. Making this accessible will mark a milestone in the way our citizens remember our past,” he said in a government statement.
“It is an exciting project because for the first time we will see Fiji’s history unfold in film and DVD format,” Bainimarama said.
Ministry of Information National Archives and Library Services of Fiji permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns, who is heading this task, said the restoration and digitization of footage is long overdue as most of it is in a state of decay.
“We have in our archives more than 2,400 pieces of priceless historical audio-visual footage dating back to the early 40’s," Smith-Johns said.
“ It is important to ensure the safety of our archival heritage both in terms of our culture and documentary heritage.”
PS Smith-Johns said the project would take place in two stages including restoration and digitization.
“This project will enable us to firstly conserve exceptional historical film footage such as Fiji’s important national milestone moments and making it in a format which can be viewed in Fiji,” PS Smith-Johns said.
“We do not have the technology to view this footage in its current format, in fact this is a highly specialised field."
She said government has allocated under $1million for this task, which will be complete by November this year.
“The National Archives plays an important role in facilitating and promoting in depth research for educational and historical purposes and the digitization project will provide an opportunity for the institution to expand and enhance its services,” she added.
By Reginald Chandar