Tráfico de Escravos no Brasil

< Voltar para Dossiês

Objectives and means

The Slave trade archives project is based on a desire to guarantee the protection and accessibility of documents with a universal value through digitization and subsequent dissemination by electronic means. However, it does not aim to restore and preserve original collections themselves, since this would require a completely different approach and further investment (particularly in tropical regions, for example).

Digitization means that, both for original documents and for search aids, copies can be made accessible via the Internet and stored as part of the Memory of the World programme so that, in the long term, they can be used in educational and academic circles. Therefore, each participating country will be given funds to purchase technical equipment which should, as far as possible, be bought locally so that it can subsequently be maintained. In addition to the acquisition of a minimum level of technical equipment,[2] the project enables participating countries to benefit from technical training and develop technical expertise[3] so that they can continue to work independently to develop their cultural heritage.

The purpose of the missions organized in the participating countries is, in consultation with the relevant national authorities and archive departments, to catalogue the documents (in accordance with international standards) and digitize the relevant search aids. After training seminars are held on archiving and computing techniques, the digitization process is carried out, with a view to creating a CD forming the basis of the "digitization and accessibility" element of the project. In the end, depending on the agreed procedure, one copy of the CD will be kept in the country where the archives are preserved, with further copies sent to UNESCO and to an agreed institution, such as the national library of the country concerned. A complete set will be given to each participating country. Finally, the documents and catalogues will be disseminated via the websites of the participating countries’ archive departments, to which links will be provided on the UNESCO website.

Ultimately, this project will therefore facilitate international access to documents (images, texts and catalogues) that are preserved through digitization, as well as international cooperation regarding the interpretation and utilization of sources, in order to improve people's understanding of the slave trade. At national level, the project will provide up to 15 participating countries with IT and communications equipment.