Milen Saavedra reports for Pagina Siete:
The process of digitizing the collections began in 2002
In 13 years, the Sucre Archive published 500 digitized works
The documents are available on the website of the National Archives and Library of Sucre and Iberoamerican Digital Heritage Library.
After 13 years of having started the scanning process, the National Archive and Library of Bolivia (ABNB) under the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia (FCBCB), has only published and posted them up in the internet 500 documents from its collection, Which consists of more than 50,000 titles and more than 7,000 linear meters of archival documentation.
According to a review conducted yesterday [10/06/2015] by Pagina Siete, until this year the ABNB has available on two websites, 500 works from its collection.
Of these, 354 are PDF files of the general collection of Indian Uprising, available on its website www.archivoybibliotecanacionales.org.bo. It is a series that is part of the background of the Court of La Plata, composed of records and other documentary on the uprising of Indians between 1780 and 1782.
On the same site there is a section for downloading catalogs as PDF file. 1824 and Mojos and Chiquitos – seven works, as Emancipation from the Court of La Plata, 1807, that are included. Then there are the documents entitled Bolivian Bibliography 2006-2012 versions.
In addition, just last month the institution rose to 101, to the Iberoamerican Digital Heritage Library portal (www.iberoamericadigital.net). However, according to internal reports of the Archives, these documents were digitized under the project of digital library El Dorado and is the work of past efforts.
According to a report from ABNB for 2012, which Pagina Siete had access to, the scanning process began in 2002. As for the results, this document made by the Director of the time and led to the foundation, It indicates that until 2012 it was reported that it reached 220,820 digitized images, which are not publicly accessible.
According to a complaint filed by a group of researchers, the automated file does not have online the search catalogs of the collection, as seen on their website. Moreover, in its reading rooms, there are only local access to electronic catalogs of old archive and library systems, i.e. Digiarch and Ms Access, respectively, plus library cards and printed catalogs, are available.
As for the lending of books and archival documents, this is done through printed forms to be filled by hand by researchers, according to the complaint of the researchers. In addition, it ensures that the registration of loans is done in MS Excel and Access.
On the complaint, Pagina Siete tried to communicate from Monday until yesterday [10/06/2015] with ABNB director, Juan Carlos Fernandez, but his phone was off. Subsequently, was contacted the President of the FCBCB, Homero Carvalho, who said that this issue needs to be clarified by Fernandez.
“I do not know the issue honestly, this has to be handled by the director of the National Archive and Library of Bolivia. Even I am president of the foundation, which operates six centers, each of which is autonomous, what we do is monitor their POA and will sign agreements,” he said.
On September 26, Pagina Siete published a report which detailed the ABNB is the institution with less contribution to the Iberoamerican Digital Heritage Library. For example, Chile has 21,558, meanwhile Brazil has 19,507 and Portugal has 13,713. During the tenth International Catalogers Meeting, held in September in La Paz, this fact was evident in the opinions of the experts who attended. “When I looked, before coming here, records for Bolivia (IPDL), I found nothing. There was input from the National Archives and Library of Bolivia,” said Isabel Bordes, head of the Digital division of the National Library of Spain.
File complaints and history
Complaint. According to public and internal documents, at least eight irregularities were detected in the purchase of software for the Archive. It is the purchase of a “software asset management to file documentary and office files.” This process was conducted between November 26 and December 26, 2014. The purchase was made at a cost of Bs556,800.
Investigation. After publishing the report, the president of the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia, Homero Carvalho, announced that an investigation of the documents of the procurement process would be made.
Is this the tip of the iceberg regarding a new case of corruption?