The Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts (SINCHA) is looking for another location to house the country’s National Archives following the recent announcement that it will no longer be in the same building. than the National Library.

SINCHA’s permanent secretary, Cécile Kalebi, announced that “we have plans for a new building, the details of which we will reveal soon”.

The National Archives where old and new documents detailing the history of Seychelles were housed in the same building as the National Library for a number of years.

However, due to a fungal outbreak, the authorities had to vacate the building and are now in the Helena complex on Ile du Port, while all legal documents are kept at the Seychelles Magistrate’s Court in the capital city of Victoria and that the data entry unit is in Providence.

With plans to move into a new building of his own, Kalebi said “when creating an archive, it’s not something you do for five or six years, but rather it has to be there for at least thirty years. The authorities must take into account that the institution will have to grow.”

In a report following the mushroom outbreak in 2012, the archives and the entire building were closed in 2013 and authorities were recommended to modernize the way they store documents.

“We have been processing documents for some time, although the frequency and ability to do so has been lacking. Work in an archive is continuous, so we will be scanning and processing documents. We will also need to store a lot of material and have access to backup services to make sure we always have copies of our documents,” she added.

National Archives Director General Julienne Barra said staff are unable to perform certain tasks at the Archives due to space constraints.

Barra said: “All the old documents that were affected by the fungus are still there and only after we finish cleaning all the documents will we know how many were badly affected.”