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Utilization of Archival Information at Swaziland National Archives by Researchers at University of Swaziland

Authors
Publisher
The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Archives
  • Archival Information
  • Information Needs
  • Information Seeking Behaviour
  • Access
  • User Studies
Disciplines
  • Communication

Abstract

This paper discusses the findings of a study that was carried out to assess the utilization of archival information at Swaziland National Archives (SNA) by researchers at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA). Its purpose was to establish the researchers' information needs and their information seeking behaviour, as well as to determine how these needs were being met. It further wanted to establish the factors that hindered access and use of the archival information and how those factors could be addressed. The study methodology involved questionnaires, face to face interviews as well as structured observations. The respondents included lecturers, postgraduate students and archives personnel. The study results revealed that the SNA was underutilized by researchers at UNISWA, the search-room was not conducive for research purposes and the search-room staff took long to retrieve required documents. Factors contributing to this were found to include lack of skilled personnel, lack of proper marketing strategies, lack of user studies, lack of relevant information and inadequate opening hours. The authors' recommendations include training of existing staff and recruitment of additional personnel, conduct of user studies, improved marketing strategies, and extension of opening hours to include weekends.

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