The state archives agency will hold the country’s first ceremony on Thursday marking International Archives Day in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, officials said.
The ceremony will take place at the Nara Repository, a high-tech records management facility of the National Archives of Korea, and is expected to draw about 200 people including NAK president Lee Gyeong-og.
Separately from the ceremony, the agency under the Ministry of Public Administration and Security will run programs to draw public attention to its efforts to spread the “culture of preserving government and civilian records.”
They include exhibitions of civil and state records in Daejeon, Chuncheon and Jeonju, and a program to invite elementary school students to the key facilities at the Nara Repository.
The International Council on Archives, with some 1,300 members in 198 countries, has celebrated Archives Day since 2008. It created the day in 2007 to promote cooperation among archivists across the globe. The day has been observed in Britain, Japan and Spain.
The NAK is holding the ceremony to help the public understand the importance of preserving and developing national archives and to let the world know Korea’s records-preserving efforts.
“On the occasion of this event, we will strive to globalize our country’s records. As part of the efforts, we will also push ahead with a plan to host the international congress on archives, which is dubbed ‘Olympics of records,’ in Korea in 2016,” the NAK president said in a press release.
The NAK first expressed its intention to host the quadrennial congress in March at the ICA executive board meeting in Panama. The following month, it submitted its bid to the ICA headquarters in Paris.
Korea is competing against France to host the congress at which some 3,000 archivists and scholars around the world will gather. The host nation will be selected at an annual ICA meeting in October.
The congress was held in Austria in 2004 and Malaysia in 2008. Australia is scheduled to host the congress in 2012.
The NAK says Korea is capable of hosting the congress given its ample experience of successfully hosting major global events including Olympic Games in 1988, FIFA World Cup in 2002 and the Group of 20 summit in 2010.
It also believes Korea’s long history of producing and preserving records qualifies the country to host the congress.
Korea possesses a total of nine items listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Program. They include the original manuscript of the Korean writing system, “Hunminjeongeum,” and “Joseonwangjosilok,” or the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty.
The ICA was established with the help of UNESCO in 1948.
By Song Sang-ho (email@example.com