Taito Raione, the senior conservator at the National Archives of Fiji, with a copy of the first The Fiji Times. Picture: ATU RASEA
WHAT was discovered as library deposits is being documented as an important piece at Fiji’s National Archives.
The original volume of copies of The Fiji Times dated September 4, 1869, in Levuka up until December 31, 1870, are being compiled and preserved at the National Archives office in Suva.
National Archive senior conservator Taito Raione said the original copies — if kept in a room with stable temperature and stable relative humidity — would last for another 100 to 200 years.
“This is my 26th year here and when I started here, it was in a very deteriorating state, very brittle. These Fiji Times copies were falling to pieces so we had to collect the pieces and two years ago I decided that we have to do something about this,” Mr Raione said
“Otherwise if people want to come and view these pieces, we will have to give them the microfilm copies and not the original because it was in a deteriorating condition.
“We undergo seven stages before copies of these papers go back to its original stage.”
This, Mr Raione explained, included dismantling of all the pages in this first volume and the recollection of all pieces together and the washing of the papers in special solutions to remove dirt and impurities from them.