We have archives on Islam that are still spread nationally
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI) hosted a meeting of archival leaders from countries with Muslim-majority populations to discuss cooperation in preserving collective memory about Islam through digitization of archives.

Representatives from 19 countries were invited to a preliminary meeting to form an archive cooperation forum among Muslim-majority countries on Wednesday.

Heads of archive agencies from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Morocco, Iraq, Palestine, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, and Brunei Darussalam directly attended the meeting in Jakarta.

The preliminary meeting regarding efforts to digitize Islamic archives was also attended by 19 ambassadors of Muslim-majority countries and attended virtually by chief archivists throughout Indonesia.

"This is the first time that leaders of archival institutions from Muslim-majority countries have gathered. Through this forum, we focus on preserving the collective memory of an Islamic country through digitization," ANRI Head Imam Gunarto stated during a preliminary meeting at the ANRI Office in South Jakarta.

Gunarto noted that the cooperation forum was established to provide digital access to the archives of Islamic civilization in all Muslim-majority countries for the world community.

The forum will also discuss opportunities for inter-state cooperation in digitizing archives on Islamic history and civilization, he remarked.

He said that archives regarding Islam would be documented as a national treasury and become a national-level Islamic archive database that would then be combined with archives from other Muslim-majority countries.

"We have archives on Islam that are still spread nationally. Some are being kept by community leaders, Islamic boarding schools, and the community. In the future, we target to digitize them soon," he remarked.

Gunarto stated that currently, 30 percent of old archives in central and regional ANRI have been digitized. Meanwhile, the digitization of new archives in ministries and agencies has been conducted for two years.

"There are already more than 300 ministries, agencies, and regions that have digitized their archives," he revealed.

In addition, he noted that currently, almost 20 million archives are available digitally.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti P, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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