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At the ceremony Friday, Secretary General of the UNESCO Commission in Guyana, Ms. Carmen Jarvis, emphasising the importance of carefully recording and preserving the history of Guyana, said, "posterity will judge us harshly if we fail to keep important records."
More than 6,000 copies of documents and scores of microfilms of confidential documents and newspaper reports dealing with the colonial period mainly between the period 1900-1966 were presented to the library.
Ms. Jarvis said it is now a challenge to the library to ensure that the historical material is used in a sustainable manner and preserved for posterity.
She is also optimistic that the documents would enhance research when the modern history of Guyana would have been written.
Professor of the Department of History, University of Guyana, Dr. Winston McGowan observed that because of the way the colonies were administered there has been limited availability of historical documents of the colonies.
It was in recognition of this limitation that efforts were made to have such a project, he said, stressing that it was during the period 1900-1966 that significant political and economic changes took place, including constitutional changes, organising of the working class and economic diversification among others.
"It was a critical period from every conceivable perspective," Dr. McGowan noted.
He added that the historical process in Guyana is still to be properly recorded
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr. James Rose commended Dr. McGowan for taking the initiative to ensure that the project came to fruition.
The project involved conducting research in British repositories, especially the Public Records Office at Kew Gardens, London, in order to identify important historical documents relevant to Guyana between 1900-1966.
However, most of the documents copied are related to the period 1945-1966 which witnessed some of the most critical developments of the history of Guyana in the 20th century.