Wednesday, August 10

Sarawak to be the first in M’sia to have automated archive system


Abang Johari (third left) points at the model of the State Archive. On his right is Hamid. – Penerangan photo

KUCHING (Dec 7): The upcoming Sarawak Archive Building will be the first in Malaysia to be equipped with the Automated Storage & Retrieval System (ASRS).

The project to build this building at a site next to the State Library has commenced and it is expected to be completed in 2024.

The State Archive Building is described as a two and a half storey building. Sitting on a 17.6 acte site, the 26,805 square meters building will have a 10,000 square metres of designated space to store documents and data.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who made a working visit to the project site today, said it is very important for Sarawak to have its own archive to store data and information, especially significant ones relating to the state.

He told a press conference that he had for a few years traveled to the United Kingdom during a mission to look for documents relating to information on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Malaysia Act.

He said he had noticed how such important information can be stored securely in such premises.

“I think it is only right that Sarawak has this kind of Archive. It is very, very important because we have a long history as well as for instance ecological information as far as Niah is concerned can be stored here.

“This archive can also work with the Sarawak Museum. Part of the exhibits from the museum can be stored in this building. Hard and digital documents can be stored here,” he said, adding that he too had found a copy on Sarawak Law by naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace at Natural History Museum in London.

Abang Johari (second right, front row) takes a close look at the artist’s impression of the project. – Penerangan photo

On the ASRS, he said this represented a transformation in information storage.

He explained the system not only allows hard documents to be stored securely in digital form as it also allows users to select the documents they want to access just with a click of the button, with a ‘robot’ doing the job to retrieve the document.

“One thing about archive is this, as you know the present determined by the past
and the future will be determined by the present. To go to the past, you go to archive
resource place for PhD (doctorate) students,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Library board of management chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo
thanked the state cabinet for giving allocation for the project.

“This is a very important project not just for storing documents, but also important data belonging to the state government. This archive is a very special archive, it’s going to be the first in Malaysia using the Automated Storage & Retrieval System (ASRS).

“Since we want to bring our education to the next level, such a facility is very important,” he said.

He added the Archive building will also have training rooms as the State Library also wants to produce professional librarians one day and hopefully it can issue recognised certificates for those trained under it.