Physical Preservation

The preservation team manages the physically preservation of the collected items for the Genocide Archive of Rwanda and maintains the physical archive.


The Genocide Archive of Rwanda receives donations of material from organisations and private institutions, as well as individual donations such as photographs and personal belongings of relatives who were killed in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, donated by survivors’ friends and family members. The team receives audio visual materials, objects and artefacts, photographs and documents.

When receiving materials for the archive, the team ensures they:

  • Receive the identification forms to know what items are brought into the archive
  • Provide an acquisition for each item entering the archive
  • Receive consent from the donator agreeing to the transfer of ownership or the terms and condition on which the donation is based


The team tracks the location of its records and collections by using an advanced cataloguing process that:

  • Has a controlled vocabulary and an established list of preferred terms to standardise the metadata used
  • Has a complete descriptive inventory which provides introductory information about the provenance of the records and their dates of creation
  • A finding aid with detailed descriptions and information that provides an essential link between the archive and users


The preservation team uses archiving methodologies that are set by international standards. These methods involve:

  • Sorting all records and materials according to provenance and date of creation
  • Placing them in acid-free folders that prevent the materials from decaying
  • Labelling each file folder with names for ease when locating the folder later
  • Placing the files in large acid-free boxes for long term storage
  • Labelling each box with the access name and number, and box number before storing it
  • Label shelving location

The physical collection is stored in a room that has 24/7 temperature regulation at 18° C. This prevents the materials from succumbing to natural decay.