April 16, 2010
National Archives equipped with sound and video equipment

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has gone one step further in its efforts to preserve the history of the people of St. Vincent nad the Grenadines, through the sourcing of equipment to record and store sound and video recordings.{{more}}

At a ceremony held on Thursday, April 8, several pieces of equipment were handed over by the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Education for the establishment of the sound archives at the National Archives.

Anthony Theobalds, Cultural Officer, said the equipment captures recordings and audio-visual elements of our heritage and history, an extension of the type of material that is offered by the national archives. He said he expects cooperation from the public and media houses to make available all recordings, not specifically those pertaining to politics.

Theobalds said proper management of public records will ensure high quality archives and result in the preservation of our national heritage.

Minister of Culture René Baptiste said that it has been seven years since the gestation of this project, and oral tradition goes missing with the elders who have passed.

Certain radio stations, Baptiste said, are erasing tapes by reusing them. She expressed disappointment that the project of Garifuna language has not yet started and asked young people to get involved in careers in social anthropology and cultural archaeology. She also requested that anyone with copies of music, all recordings of sound in Vincentian life, to bring them to the national archives, which will not use them for commercial purposes.

Mark Cyrus, consultant to the project said that the equipment will allow for the digitization of old materials and new recordings done in SVG. Old cassettes, vinyl records and reel to reel records can be digitized. This will be set up in a month or so, Cyrus said, for persons from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education to catalogue recordings.