The National Archives of Brunei Darussalam has collected and preserved 290,000 archival items and records since its establishment in 1977. The collections are in various forms, such as audio and visual material, government files, images, manuscript, cartography, microfilm and agreement.
The National Archives of Brunei Darussalam was established to strengthen the Brunei National Archives Act 1975, Revised Edition 1983, Chapter 116 of Laws of Brunei. The implementation of the Act is to ensure all government, public and permanent records are controlled, registered and preserved for access and reference.
It also aimed to store, keep and preserve any record collections on activities, organisations and institutions to be used as references and legal evidence in addition to protecting the national heritage of the Sultanate.
The growth of the national archives is also strengthened through international relations.
For almost 40 years, the National Archives of Brunei Darussalam has been selected as one of the members of the International Council on Archives (ICA) – since 1981.
The country also has been appointed as a member of the Southeast Asian Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (SARBICA) in 1986.
Every June 9, archival institutions around the world celebrate International Archives Day to raise awareness on the importance of record and archival management to provide a platform for people to learn about the significance of national archives as the main institution responsible in preserving public records. The theme for this is ‘Empowering Knowledge Societies.’
The National Archives of Brunei Darussalam aims to become a national research and reference institution of the Sultanate, particularly by safeguarding the important information and providing access to them to members of the public. The 40-year records collection in the Sultanate ranges from history to culture as well as law to administration materials. This makes the institution a warehouse of knowledge, which is beneficial for the development of the nation and its communities.
The Records Management Unit has been providing advisory services for government agencies, reviewing records, transferring valuable records, examining materials which are under 25 years of age through the disposition and preservation processes.
Following the Financial Regulations 1983, under Section 240, the department was also responsible for the disposition of financial records and balance sheets.
As for the preservation and maintenance of the archival collection, including their cleaning and management through repository inspections, storage and registration, the Archives Management Unit is tasked with reviewing records which will be permanently transferred to the national archives. In addition, the unit is also responsible for registering materials such as files, cartographic materials (maps and plans), audio-visuals and manuscripts and providing these references when requested by users.
Located at Jalan Dewan Majlis, the National Archives of Brunei Darussalam aspires to support the Brunei Vision 2035 especially in achieving an educated and highly-skilled society to attain the hopes of the Sultanate to become a highly-developed nation. In addition to providing various facilities for customers such as the Research Hall, Finding Aids and photocopy service, it also provides workshops on archival management. It is their responsibility to disseminate information on the significance of archives as stated in Article 12 of the Brunei National Archives Act. It welcome members of the public to visit the National Archives of Brunei Darussalam Building to obtain numerous references and gain access to the invaluable collection.
In the 21st Century, many archival institutions worldwide are transforming their mode of collection or storage to electronic and digital form. The National Archives of Brunei Darussalam will also prepare for any challenges that hinder any development and also enhance the system of national archive in the Sultanate for the use of current and future generations.