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Volume: 9 | Article ID: art00008
The Use of Information Technology in Accessing Archival Documents in Tertiary Institutions in Uganda: Challenges and Opportunities
  DOI :  10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2012.9.1.art00008  Published OnlineJanuary 2012

The Archive records at various tertiary institutions in Uganda are a source to important academic historical information. The use of information held in archives provides the ultimate justification for the existence of an archival institution. On the other hand archivists in tertiary institutions in Uganda are constrained by a number of obstacles in their quest to provide information to various users who come to their universities. For instance, most of the archival documents found in tertiary institutions in Uganda are mostly in paper form, they are stored in a disorganized manner; the archivists lack appropriate instruments and tools to facilitate access. In short, these archival documents are subject to deterioration. Furthermore the manual system of obtaining information from the archives is time consuming and inefficient. The users of the archives facilities must first consult the list of the available materials and then go to boxes and obtain the document or documents needed. And in case of periodic upgrades these lists are difficult to maintain. Such obstacles rotate around the lack of the use of an information system for the proper management of the archives. In the context stated above, regular users of the archives have expressed the difficulties encountered in accessing required information from the archive, yet if the current manual system is maintained the users' expectations will not be met. For easy accessibility of documents in tertiary institution archives, professional staffing and efficient policies are important. While these measures represent the necessary factors for easy accessibility of archival documents, the sufficient condition is for the tertiary institutions in Uganda to shift from a manual system of managing archive activities to an electronic based system. The efficient management of records and archives is one part of an efficient information management program. It is therefore possible to efficiently manage records and archives using information technology at the tertiary institution level. An information system for efficiently managing the archive files is therefore essential. This paper therefore discusses without technical detail (a) the significant role information technology plays in the accessibility of archival documents by staff in the archive and users of the archive respectively. (b) The problems the management of computerized data often presents since information can be manipulated easily, updated and even deleted thus undermining the accuracy and reliability of the information. Finally, the author recommends that archivists in tertiary institutions in Uganda have to rethink through their way of working in order to meet the new challenges posed by technological advances.

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Christine Byaruhanga, "The Use of Information Technology in Accessing Archival Documents in Tertiary Institutions in Uganda: Challenges and Opportunitiesin Proc. IS&T Archiving 2012,  2012,  pp 35 - 37,

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