BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
NATIONAL Gallery of Zimbabwe librarian Joseph Mushayi has revealed that the institution is currently creating a digital library by archiving most of its catalogues since establishment in 1957 to preserve information that would be useful to future generations, researchers, scholars and the media.
Mushayi told NewsDay Life & Style that the process, inspired by a donation of equipment from Culture Fund in 2014, was going to be completed this year.
“To date, we have digitised most of our catalogues starting from formation of the gallery in 1957. I cannot give the timeline of the project off hand, but we are almost done. It’s a vast amount that needs to be scanned. Nonetheless, before the year ends we should be done,” he said.
“We are talking of conserving information and knowledge which we have accumulated so far. The idea is to make that information accessible to everyone who wants it, particularly researchers, scholars, the media and future generations. If we don’t do that we will die with the national heritage. Funds permitting we want to make the information accessible online.”
Mushayi described the NGZ library as the principal source of information about art, chiefly the visual arts, and added that they were still weighing the possibility of creating a
virtual gallery where people can go through exhibitions even at a distance.
“We are still investigating the e-galleries or e-museums. Right now we are looking at the specific function of the gallery not viewing the exhibition space. We are trying to make sure that information produced in the past is accessible,” he said.
“NGZ library is the biggest resource for visual arts information. This is the right place to be, you get to understand a lot about visual arts.”