Archives access

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Posted by Rob ( on October 09, 2002 at 21:38:44:

Dawud's comments about the lack of openness of Baha'i archives is worthy of discussion, though I personally do not see any conspiracy in the current policies.

At most, the Institutions of the Faith are cautious about letting our personal information for the sake of the privacy of individuals and their families and histories which are not confirmed. Having posted many unconfirmed pilgrim notes on this website, with disclaimers, I appreciate the call for an open door policy on the part of Baha'i Archives and likewise would like to see greater access. In recent years, the National Baha'i Archives in the United States has become more open to researchers, Baha'i and non-Baha'i alike, though greatly limited by funding of archivists. Other national archives of note, such as Germany, are not prepared to allow researchers into the collection until they are properly catalogued and indexed, and funds are available for staffing of an archives office. As with any archives, some items are withheld from researchers for the obvious reason of protecting the items that are too rare and fragile.

Now in the case of Nabil's Narrative ...(of which I understand a translation of the second volume is currently being undertaking at the BWC for publication), ...among other rare writings, it would be necessary to have in hand some documentation from the BWC explaining why some of these materials are not currently available for researchers. If anyone has such a letter, this would be good to see.

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