Restoring the INEAC archives at the Africa museum

You can’t find what you don’t know you have and you don’t know what you have until you make a complete inventory

An important part of the COBECORE project includes the integration of fragmented INEAC archives, currently located in different buildings of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. Some important series are stored separately in the Wood Biology section, including the the Index Bulletin agricole Congo Belge 1910-1959, the Série scientifique INEAC and the Série technique INEAC. Other collections are stored in the Geology library, in the central library or in other locations. Bringing these archives together makes them more accessible on site, whereas the integration of existing inventories and online publication in a bibliographic repository, will also allow access from remote locations.

Fig 1. - Regrouping scattered collections of INEAC documentation

There are currently 5 separate inventories created by different curators for different sections of the INEAC archives at the RMCA. Only a fraction of the archives located in the central library have been integrated into an online bibliographic database. As part of the COBECORE project we will regroup remotely stored archives (Figure 1), inventory these archives and upload all existing inventories to an online searchable bibliographic database, such as LIMO (formerly Libis). Where relevant for the scientific research of COBECORE, we will also digitize selected documents (eg. Figure 2).

Fig 2. - Map of the agricultural meteorology stations in the Belgian Congo in 1942 ( ed. 1946)