Underfunded and Neglected: The State Archives in Peru

Friday, January 4, 2019: 2:10 PM
Continental C (Hilton Chicago)
Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent
State archives in Peru, both at the National and the Regional level are underfunded and neglected. The National Archive is under threat of eviction from its historic location at the Palace of Justice in Lima. It has been chronically underfunded for decades and after a burst pipe leaked a decade ago the most precious colonial documents were temporarily transferred to a new space. Although the Archive has been provided with land to build new state of the art facilities, no budget has been made available for this project, and it has not been identified as one of the infrastructure priorities for the bicentennial celebrations due to take place in 2021. Regional archives vary greatly in terms of their collections and the state of their organisation, thanks in much to the decentralised funding structure that places them under the jurisdiction of local governments.

In this presentation I will share a panorama of the national situation based on my experience and knowledge of a variety of archives in Peru, and especially those I got to know thanks to a British Library Endangered Archives Programme. Between 2010 and 2011 I carried out an assessment of the state of their periodical collections and between 2012 and 2014 the collections of five regional archives were digitsed, and training was provided to personnel in all these regions on paper conservation and materials were handed out to make this possible. I will explore the possibilities opened by digitisation projects as well as their limitations