June 9, 2018 (today) is both the 11th International Archives Day and the 70th anniversary of International Council on Archives (ICA). The theme of International Archives Day this year is “Archives: Governance, Memory and Heritage”.
Historical memory condensed in different carriers
Fading away makeup only to stay true: from walking upright to exploring the universe, from slash-and-burn method to artificial intelligence, the remaining is not only memory of the distant vicissitudes of history but also profound accumulation and quiet inheritance ofhumanistic spirit over the past five thousand years. From oracle bones, bronze and stone, to bamboo & wood pieces and silk cloth, to paper and film, and to electronic device and cloud, storage medium has been changing constantly while the archive mission of inheriting history and civilization remains unchanged. It is not difficult to imagine the spontaneous reverence as well as the inexpressible shock and joy when the text on 3,000-year-old oracle bones was successfully interpreted for the first time, reflecting human being’s persistence in exploring true history and continuing ancient civilization. These thin oracle bones carry not only old memories but also the fire of civilization.
On May 25, the author attended a public lecture entitled “Rockefeller Family and China”. In the lecture that lasted for nearly two hours, Dr. James Allen Smith and Dr. Barbara Shubinsky from Rockefeller Archives Center started from John D. Rockefeller’s donation of a record book of USD 10 to the Chinese Church in 1863 to tell the audience about the stories between Rockefeller family and China for more than a hundred years.
As an archivist, what impressed me was that the archive record of over 117 million pages of documents, 900,000 photos, 18,000 microfilms, and 6,000 films showed Rockefeller family’s enthusiasm for philanthropy and orderly inheritance of family philanthropic spirit.These precious archives are not only the storage of the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic history, but more importantly, the memory card for philanthropic spirit inherited from the Rockefeller family members.
David Rockefeller gave a book to Niu Gensheng family as a gift in November 2011
After visiting the precious historical records in Rockefeller Archives Center, Mr. Niu Gensheng, Founder of Lao Niu Foundation, said “two-finger wide paper can speak”. He also proposed clearly in council conference to implement the collection awareness and management idea of “archives every day for everyone” to work, and include archive achievement in annual report. By the end of 2017, the archives room of Lao Niu Foundation has collected nearly 10,000 paper documents; it has passed first-level evaluation of archives work of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and become shortlisted in Hohhot Records ·Archives。
Operation of intelligent layer-selection file cabinet Well-equipped archive storehouse
From the theme of International Archives Day - “Archives: Governance, Memory and Heritage”, while inheriting civilization, it is only to take full advantage of modern technology, further achieve standardization of archives collection and management, and diversify the exploitation and utilization of archives resources can we adapt to the general trend of development of the times.