The Belize Archives and Records Service Act 2004 mandates us to the care and preservation of the record of our country. We make sure that the records of historical and cultural heritage of Belize are well looked after and preserved for the future.
Our archives include paper documents from the 1700s to the present day, audio visual materials, photographs, maps and plans, microfilm and digital records.
Our preservation strategy focuses on records that are at high risk of loss or damage. This risk is due to deterioration of materials, or to the media becoming out of date and unreadable.
We work to reduce the need for preservation by maintaining our storage environment to suit the needs of our records. Measures are taken to slow the rate of decay of precious objects and protect them from damage. These include methods of environmental control, storage, handling, pest control, and disaster planning. These allow us more time to manage the preservation treatments required so that we minimise the loss of information.
Our team of conservators conserve records by assessing their condition, stabilising and treating them. This is in preparation for digitisation and preservation or for use by researchers in our reading room. Treatment of documents can include the removal of mould, the safe flattening of folded or rolled material, or repairs where material has suffered damage or decay. Research Information Officers digitise records to make fragile items accessible to researchers, and to help protect them from any further damage which may come with handling.