Energy cuts damage royal records

Energy cuts damage royal records - The Nation, August 26, 2004
The government’s energy-saving policy has caused damage to records dating back to the reigns of Kings Rama IV, V and VI stored at the National Archive, officials said.
Written records made in the late 1800s and early 1900s kept in a 20 degrees Celsius room were damaged by fungi and humidity due to the government’s mandate that the archive turn off the power when it closes at 4pm, said an official who asked not to be named...
The National Archive is also suffering from a shortage of personnel to copy written records onto microfilm and it has no money in its budget to buy the expensive materials needed to mend the ancient papers. There are only 14 people working at the National Archive fixing and making microfilm records, said the official, and as people have retired they have not been replaced. To get by, the archive has even asked maids to help work on the ancient papers, a task meant for experts.
There is just one expert able to copy records onto microfilm. The office has the capacity to handle 12,000 pieces per month, which means it would take more than 138 years at the current pace to clear up the 20 million pa-pers the archive still has to copy to microfilm. Arak said the department would ask the Culture Ministry to give back the retired positions.
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