SCHOOL’S HISTORY TO BE PUT ONLINE
National Archives in deal with Penang Free School to preserve documents, artifacts and records
BALVIN KAUR GEORGE TOWN email@example.com
PENANG Free School’s (PFS) inception history, headmasters and students’ records along with numerous articles will be available online for public viewing soon. This follows the signing of a three-year memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between PFS and the National Archives.
National Archives director-general Azemi Abdul Aziz said the National Archives would do its best to help PFS conserve and preserve its documents, artifacts and records, some of which date back to 1885.
“We will provide consultation and training to teachers, staff and students on the techniques of conserving and preserving the items in the correct and professional way.
“The documents that are conserved and preserved will then remain on display at PFS’s own archive building.
“We will digitise the documents, artifacts and records so that they will be accessible through our website to people all over the world,” he said after signing the MoC together with PFS headmaster Omar Abd Rashid at the school here yesterday.
In addition, Azemi said they would help PFS in various activities to promote its history and help bring it to the public eye.
“This MoC with PFS is very important to the country and its people, as it is the first step to a bigger effort in preserving a slice of history.
“PFS’ history not only shows us how schools used to operate, and the life in a school, but also affords us a glimpse of the community.”
He said by making the records available to the public, former headmasters, teachers and students would be able to trace back to the time their family members served or studied in the school.
Omar said the MoC with the National Archives was a momentous event for PFS.
He said PFS had been collecting various documents, articles, artifacts and record books since its inception in 1816.
“These documents include the history of the inception of the school, its students and headmasters’ record books and even some articles of respected dignitaries, which have been of great interest to several universities.
“Some of these documents have been restored by the National Archives and it will help us restore the rest.”
PFS, established on Oct 21, 1816, is the oldest school of its kind in Southeast Asia.
On Oct 21 last year, the school held its bicentenary celebration with some 5,000 former students and teachers in attendance. The huge turnout was recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records as the biggest of its kind for a school reunion event.