The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau catalogue includes information about the Bureau’s retrospective microfilm collections; the manuscript series and the printed document series, as well as new photographic and manuscript collections that are being digitally copied and added to the database. Most of these collections include finding aids which can be found in the online record of individual collections.
The Bureau’s collection currently extends to around 2000 titles which amounts to more than 4,000 microfilms. The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau microfilm collection is the most extensive collection of non-government primary documentation on the Pacific Islands available to researchers.
For the past 45 years, the Bureau has used microfilm as the preferred preservation medium to copy, preserve and distribute archives from the Pacific Islands to the Bureau’s member libraries. In 2014 the Bureau moved from microfilm to digital. Around 100 retrospective Pacific Manuscripts Bureau manuscript titles have been digitised and will be added to the database in the near future. Additional retrospective titles will be added as funding becomes available to convert the microfilm to digital. The Bureau now copies archives using digital equipment.
The catalogue uses open-source software called ICA-AtoM (Access to Memory). This software is based on the International Council on Archives standards for archival description. Collections that have been digitised can be found as item level records with digital objects attached. For advice on searching, select Help which is at the top of each page of the database.
The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau collection can be accessed at any of the PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing individual titles in digital directly from the Bureau.
For more information about the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, visit: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/about.php