Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) will provide voluntary assistance to the National Archives of Palau to help process a backlog of records and preserve their value and meaning. Currently, the archives is understaffed and has very little resources to tackle such a backlog of records that are in dire need of attention. To ensure the longevity of these records, ICAS will help the archives sort, appraise, process, and make the them accessible to present and future generations.
The backlog of valuable, unprocessed records is a major concern for the National Archives of Palau. A lack of staff members and resources has made it very difficult to eliminate this backlog. Additionally, the records are being housed in shipping containers, and the intense environment have impacted the longevity of these records. Without performing proper preservation and processing techniques, the material will not only remain indefinitely inaccessible, but could possibly be lost forever.
During the project, materials will be, first, sorted and appraised to weed out unwanted records. Cleaning and conservation techniques will be performed. Then, the records will be processed by arranging and describing and preserved in acid-free file folders and boxes. A Finding Guide will be created so that access to the material will be easier. A training program will be established during this project so that staff can implement these techniques to other collections.
The project will have two long-term impacts. The first impact is that after processing and preserving these collections, they will be made accessible to the community, the country of Palau, the Pacific Islands, and to any researcher throughout the world. This open access enriches knowledge of human society, promotes democracy, and enhances the quality of life. The second impact will focus on staff members who can apply these archival techniques to future collections.