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Memorandum for the Secretary General, Pan American Institute of Geography and History
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00010875/00001
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Title: Memorandum for the Secretary General, Pan American Institute of Geography and History Final Report, HIST.01.2011, Technical Assistance to the National Archives of Haiti
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: Bradley Coleman
Publication Date: March 5, 2012
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Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Haiti
Archives
Organization of American States
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Source Institution: Florida International University
Holding Location: Florida International University
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID: AA00010875:00001

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MEMORANDUMFORtheSecretaryGeneral,PanAmericanInstituteofGeographyand History,Ex-ArzobispadoNo.29,Col.Observatorio,11860Mxico,DF,Mxico From:Dr.BradleyColeman,U.S.NationalSection Date:March5,2012 Subject:FinalReport,HIST.01.2011,TechnicalAssistancetotheNationalArchivesofHaiti Summary. PartoftheOrganizationofAmericanStates(OAS),thePanAmericanInstituteof GeographyandHistory(PAIGH)promotescooperationamongcountriesoftheWestern Hemispherethroughprojectsinthefieldsofcartography,geography,geophysics,andhistory.In February2012,PAIGHsupportedastillpicturedigitizationworkshopattheNationalArchives ofHaiti(ANH).UsingPAIGHgrantmoney,PAIGHprojectcoordinatorBradleyColemanand DigitalLibraryoftheCaribbean(dLOC)directorBrookeWooldridgepurchasedaCanonEOS suitefortheHaitianarchives.TogetherwithdLOCprogrammerMarkSullivan(Universityof Florida),theydeliveredandinstalledtheequipmenton30January.Sullivanthenledatwo-day workshopontheutilizationandmaintenanceofthePAIGHequipment,asystemthatsaves electronicimagesonnetworkserversattheUniversityofFlorida.ThePAIGHinitiative advancedongoingeffortstopreserveandperpetuatearchivalcollectionsendangeredbythe2010 earthquake.ItstrengthenedHaitianinstitutionsthroughmeaningfulprofessionalinteraction andincreasedaccesstovaluablehistoricalrecordsinHaiti. Background. LocatedinPort-au-Prince,theNationalArchivesofHaitiistheofficialrepository forHaitianstateandcivilrecords.Itscollectionincludesgovernmentrecords(presidential, ministerial);recordsofsocialworksandcivilgovernance;andbirth,marriage,anddeath certificates.Inaddition,aftertheearthquake,PresidentRenePrval(2006-2011)askedHaitian archiviststorecoverandprotectactivegovernmentrecordslocatedinfallenbuildings.The archives,however,lackedtheresourcesrequiredtoaccomplishthiswork.Inareportdated26 January2010,ANHdirectorJeanWilfridBertrandidentifiedtheimmediateneedsofthe institution.Duringtheweeksthereafter,aseriesofnationalandinternationalmeetingsproduced coherentandcomplementaryplansforovercomingearthquake-relatedproblems. DuringtheannualmeetingoftheU.S.NationalSection,PAIGH,inRedlands,California,March 2010,U.S.SouthernCommand(USSOUTHCOM)historianBradleyColemanspoketodelegates abouthisexperiencewithU.S.militaryforcesinHaitiaftertheearthquake.LocatedinMiami, Florida,USSOUTHCOMistheDepartmentofDefenseheadquartersforU.S.militaryforcesin LatinAmericaandtheCaribbean;ColemanprovidedhistoricalsupporttotheU.S.armedforces duringthehumanitarian/disasterreliefmissioninHaiti.InCalifornia,theU.S.NationalSection presidentMarkDeMulderthenaskeddelegatestoconsiderwaysPAIGHcouldhelpHaiti DEPARTMENTOFDEFENSE UNITEDSTATESSOUTHERNCOMMAND 9301NW33RDSTREET MIAMI,FL33172-1217 ATTENTIONOF REPLYTO

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2 recoverfromthenaturaldisaster.Inthefieldofhistory,theU.S.NationalSectionconsidered organizinganinternationalmeetingontherehabilitationofHaitianarchivesandlibraries.The USSOUTHCOMhistorianleftCaliforniawithinstructionstodevelopaproposalforaPAIGHsupportedconference. Afewdayslater,backinMiami,ColemanconnectedwithdLOCdirectorBrookeWooldridge. Establishedin2004,dLOCisacooperativenetworkoflibrariesandarchivesintheCaribbean. ItscentraladministrativeofficeislocatedatFloridaInternationalUniversity(FIU)inMiami, Florida.ThedLOCdirectorhadbeenactivelyorganizingassistancetoHaitianrepositorieswith internationalpartnerssuchastheUnitedNationsEducation,Scientific,andCultural Organization;LibrarieswithoutBorders;AssociationofCaribbeanUniversityResearchand InstitutionalLibraries;BlueShield;InternationalFederationofLibraryAssociations;andmajor academicinstitutionssuchasBrownUniversity(Providence,RI),DukeUniversity(Durham, NC),andUniversityofFlorida(Gainesville,FL). 1 Ratherthanaconference,Wooldridge suggestedthatPAIGHhelpHaitianarchivistsacquireelectronicequipmenttodigitizevulnerable collections. ProjectProposal,Evolution. AftercontactingtheANHdirector,Colemanwroteaproposal requestingPAIGHsupportforthedigitizationeffortattheNationalArchivesofHaiti.InApril, JeanParcher,vicepresident,U.S.NationalSection,sentthepackagetothePAIGHheadquarters inMexicoCity.SignedbyUSSOUTHCOMciviliandeputytothecommanderAmbassadorPaul TrivelliandtheU.S.NationalSectionpresident,thesolicitationincludedlettersofsupportfrom professionalsinCanada,DominicanRepublic,Haiti,andtheUnitedStates.Inspiteofthe unusualcharacteristicoftheproposalPAIGHdoesnotnormallyallowdelegatestopurchase equipmentwithgrantfundsmembersofthedirectingcouncil,PAIGH,announcedtheirsupport fortheprojectduringtheirmeetinginLima,Peru,inNovember2010.Thesecretarygeneral, PAIGH,formallynotifiedtheU.S.NationalSectionofthedecisioninaletterdatedJanuary25, 2011.(Attached) Soonthereafter,turbulenceinHaitidelayedtheimplementationofthetechnicalassistance project.TheANHdirectorandothersaskedPAIGHtoholdtheprojectuntiltheinternal situationimproved.InMay2011,followingtheinaugurationofPresidentMichelMartell(2011 topresent),archivistsagreedtomoveforward.Sincetheeventwouldoccurafter1October 2011,theprojectcoordinatorformallyrequestedawaivertousePAIGHfundsduringthenext fiscalyear. 2 Thesecretarygeneral,PAIGH,approvedColemansrequest.Since USSOUTHCOMcouldnotlegallyreceivethemoney,PAIGHreleasedthefundsdirectlytothe dLOCaccountattheFIUFoundationinAugust.(Documentsattached) 1 TheMiamiHerald publishedamajorarticleonWooldrigesworkjustbeforethePAIGHconferenceinCalifornia. SeeAudraBurch,PreservingHaitisMemories:Digitalarchivistsworktosaverarebooks,historicaldocuments fromquake-rattledlibraries, TheMiamiHerald ,February27,2010,2E,3E.SeealsoBrookeWooldridge, ProtectingHaitianPatrimonyInitiative,InitialAssessmentandRecommendations,February26,2010,at www.dloc.com 2 ProjectorganizersoriginallyscheduledtheworkshopforOctober24-28,2011.Amedicalemergencyforcedthe grouptoposponeuntilearly2012.

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3 Theoriginalproposal,submittedin2010,envisionedflatbedscannersandcomputersforANH textualrecords.Therequirementsofthearchives,however,changedduringthesummerof2011. Duringtheyearsincethewritingoftheproposal,theNationalArchiveshadreceivedsomeofthe equipmentthroughdLOCandotherinternationalorganizations.Forexample,aseparateOAS projectfocusedonthedigitizationofbirthanddeathcertificatestoreducevoterfraud broughtimportantresourcestotheNationalArchives.Then,inJuly,ANHemployeesattendeda digitizationtrainingattheUniversityofFlorida,duringwhichtheyusedtheuniversitysCannon EOSdigitizationsuite.Thesystem,theyobserved,wouldbeidealforconvertingtheirlarge holdingofphotonegativesintohighresolutiondigitalimages.Forthesereasons,thePAIGH projectcoordinatorapprovedchangestotheANHorder.ColemanandWooldridgepurchased thecameraandotherequipmentintheUnitedStates.(Receiptsattached) ProjectExecution. Coleman,Wooldridge,andSullivanarrivedinPort-au-PrinceonMonday morning,30January2012.MembersoftheU.S.MilitaryLiaisonOffice(USMLO)receivedthe groupattheairport.Throughout,theUSMLOprovidedtransportationandlogisticssupportto thePAIGHmission.AftermeetingwithofficialsattheU.S.embassy,Coleman,Wooldridge, andSullivandeliveredthePAIGH-furnishedequipmenttotheNationalArchives.Haitian archivistsunpackedandinstalledtheequipmentinthedigitizationlaboratoryatHistorical ArchivesonPosteMarchandindowntownPort-au-Prince.Specifically,thePAIGHprovideda camera,lighttable,lightingsystem,computer,printer/scanner,andrelatedaccessories.After someinitialtestingofthesuite,thegrouptraveledtotheANHadministrativecenteratDelmas 75.There,ANHdirectorBertrandformallyacceptedtheequipmentonbehalfoftheHaitian government.(AgreementAttached) ANHdirectorJeanWilfridBertrandsignstheprojectequipmentagreement inPort-au-Prince,Haiti,January30,2012.

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4 ThorBurham(UniversityofBritishColumbia),WatsonR.Denis(NationalSectionofHaiti),BrookeWooldridge (DigitalLibraryoftheCaribbean),FarahElizabethFrancois(NationalSectionofHaiti),and BradleyColeman(U.S.NationalSection)atdinnerinPort-au-Prince,Monday,January30,2012. OnTuesday,January31,thedLOCdirectormetwithHaitianlibrariansattheNationalLibrary ofHaiti(BNH)onRuedeCentreinPort-au-Prince.InadditiontothePAIGHelectronics,the U.S.DepartmentofStatehadpurchasedfortheHaitiangovernmentaCopiBookhighdefinition bookscanner,idealforthedigitizationofboundmaterial.PeranagreementbetweentheU.S. andHaitiangovernments,theCopiBookscannerwouldbeinstalledattheNationalLibrary. SeveralhistoricalrepositoriesinPort-au-PrinceagreedtosharetheCopiBookscannerandEOS system.Atthelibrary,Coleman,Wooldridge,andSullivanmadearrangementsforthe installationofthescanner;theythenmetwithFriarBrotherErnestEven,director,Haitian LibraryoftheBrothersofChristianInstruction(BHFIC),thefirstdepositlibraryinHaiti. LocatedacrossthestreetfromtheNationalLibrary,BHFICpossessesanimpressivearrayof printedmaterials,includingthebestcollectionofHaitiannewspapersintheworld. Thefollowingday,MarkSullivanledtheEOSdigitizationtrainingatNationalArchivesofHaiti. EmployeesfromtheNationalArchives,NationalLibrary,andLibraryoftheBrothersof ChristianInstructionattendedtheworkshop.Thetrainingincludedstep-by-stepFrenchlanguage instructionontheproperuseofthePAIGHequipment.Specifically,thegrouppracticed convertingphotonegativestakenduringtheU.S.occupationofHaiti(1915-1934)intohighresolutiondigitalimages.

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5 Attendeesbeganbystagingthenegativesonthelighttable.Theythencapturedimageswiththe Cannoncamera,controlledbyarchivistsusingsoftwareonthenewcomputer.Withthe photographsavedonalocaldrive,technicianspracticedadjustingandeditingtheelectronic pictures.Sullivanthentaughtthearchivistshowtocreatederivativeimages,suchaslow resolutionsfilesfortheANHwebsitesandsocialmediaplatforms.Finally,thegroupreviewed thetechniquesfordatataggingscannedmaterialandtheprocessforuploadingelectronic recordstothedLOCcomputerserversattheUniversityofFlorida.Bytheendoftheday,each attendeehadreproduced,edited,catalogued,anduploadedatleastoneimage. DigitalLibraryoftheCaribbeanprogrammerMarkSullivan(armraised)teachesarchivistshow tousetheEOSdigitizationsuiteattheNationalArchivesofHaiti,February1,2012.PAIGHprovided thelighttable,camera,computer,printer,andrelatedaccessories.

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6 HaitianlibrarianCeretteLubinpreparesaphotonegativefordigitization duringthePAIGH-supportedtraining,February1,2012. SamplephotographpreservedduringtheworkshopinPort-au-Prince.Itisoneof300imagesnow availableontheinternetat www.dloc.com asadirectresultofthePAIGHeffort.

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7 ThegroupreconvenedattheNationalArchivesforadditionalpracticeonthePAIGHequipment onThursdaymorning,2February.Thatsessionfocusedonusingthedigitizationsuitewithout supervisionfromthedLOCprogrammer.Thatis,Sullivantestedthearchiviststoensurethat theycouldmanagetheequipmentafterhereturnedtotheUnitedStates.Haitiantechnicians wereencouragedtoanswereachothersquestions,ratherthanrelyingonSullivan.Allofthe archivistsdemonstratedproficiencywiththeequipment.TheHaitianarchivistswhohadtrained withtheCannonsuiteatUniversityofFloridain2011whereespeciallycapable.Laterthatday, thedLOCdirectorpresentedcertificatestosevenindividualsforhavingsuccessfullycompleted thePAIGH-sponsoredtraining:BernadoAlexis(ANH),JeanKernBelizaire(ANH),Dalmissa Belizaire(ANH),FentonCharles(ANH),GerthaCaf(BNH),LucSteveHonore(BNH),and CeretteLubin(BHFIC).ThegroupthenmovedtotheNationalLibrarytoworkonthe DepartmentofStatefurnishedCopiBookscanner,aneffortwhichoccupiedthePAIGHteam untiltheyreturnedtotheUnitedStatesonFridayevening. Conclusion. ThroughtechnicalprojectHIST.01.2011,PAIGHdeliveredstate-of-the-art equipmenttoNationalArchivesofHaiti.TheCannonEOSdigitizationsuiteandrelatedtraining enabledthepreservationofendangeredhistoricalimages.ThroughapartnershipwithdLOC,a growingnumber(300+)ofthosephotographsarenowaccessibletocitizensandscholarsaround theworld.Supportingthisproject,PAIGHaddressedaclearandimmediateneedinHaiti.Its flexibleresponsetouniquepost-earthquakecircumstancesallowingtheprojectcoordinatorto usegrantmoneytoacquireelectronicequipmenthadtangibleimpactsinHaitiandbeyond. TheprojectcoordinatorexpectsthatHaitiantechnicianswillusethePAIGHequipmentforyears tocome.PAIGHlikewisepromotedprofessionalcooperationamongarchivistsandlibrariansin theAmericas.Inthepast,Haitianauthorities,especiallythetwentiethcenturydictators, suppressedarchives,libraries,andacademicestablishmentsinHaiti.Today,nationaland internationalforcesareworkingtodeveloptheseinstitutions,whicharevitaltothefutureofthe country.Indeed,patrimonyisacriticalpartofthelong-termplantopromotestability,security, andprosperityinHaiti.PAIGHdirectlycontributedtothismovementbyprovidingtechnical assistancetotheNationalArchivesofHaitiin2012. Attachments 20120305HIST.01.2011Attachments(Coleman).PDF