The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (Pambu) is delighted to announce that the University of Bergen in Norway has joined the Bureau as the 11th member library. This is a milestone occasion as the University of Bergen is the Bureau’s first European member library. Professor Edvard Hviding, the Director of the Bergen Pacific Studies Research Group and the Co-ordinator of the European Consortium for Pacific Studies made the announcement on a recent visit to the Australian National University in March.
The University of Bergen (www.uib.no), through its research group Bergen Pacific Studies (www.pacific.b.uib.no) is the coordinating institution for the European Consortium for Pacific Studies (www.ecopas.info). Bergen is an important European hub for Pacific studies in anthropology, history and related fields, including a specific focus on the current effects in the Pacific Islands of global climate change.
The University of Bergen supports the building of centres of excellence across any range of disciplines, and as a contribution to Pacific Studies has decided to fund the Bergen university library’s new membership to the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, as the first institution in Europe to join Pambu. This, it is envisaged, will enable European scholars in Pacific studies to seek access to the unsurpassed archive resources of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau by visiting Bergen, which is within much easier reach than Pambu membership institutions in the Unites States and Oceania.
For over 45 years Pambu used microfilm to copy and capture rare and vulnerable archives, leaving the originals with their owners or custodians. But in 2014 the Bureau started using digital technologies to make preservation copies accessible via the Internet to Pambu member libraries. The Pambu online catalogue is available to all, see: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/catalogue/.
This innovative transition to digital has meant that the Bureau’s collections will not be lost to new audiences.
The University of Bergen’s membership will contribute to connecting Europe to Pambu collections in a logistically much simpler way than until now. The University of Bergen thereby provides a service to Europe at large, whereas the particular, regular traffic of visitors to the Bergen Pacific Studies group from institutions across the world will also directly benefit from the university library’s membership of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.
The Bureau continues to work closely with Pacific studies researchers and academics in order to prioritise preservation copying projects in the Pacific islands. This year the Executive Officer will work in the Cook Islands, Samoa, Palau, Chuuk and Vanuatu making preservation digital copies of historical archival collections.
For questions and enquiries, please contact Kylie Moloney, Executive Officer of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (firstname.lastname@example.org).