TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Library (Perpusnas) said it is providing support to the National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI), which has built a Disaster Archive Study Center in Aceh.
"This study center aims to provide educational facilities to the community related to disaster literacy. Its presence will encourage many parties to prepare references and knowledge related to disasters," Perpusnas Head Muhammad Syarif Bando said in a written statement received on Saturday.
The archive center has been opened as part of efforts to educate the public about potential disasters, which can serve as a global lesson, he added.
"In the National Library, there are many manuscripts that explain about disasters," he informed.
However, he emphasized, the most important thing is how the public can learn about the signs of impending natural disasters.
Disaster-related library materials consist of several collections, such as manuscripts, rare books, electronic books, articles, and newspapers, Bando said.
Some of them are in the Bugis (Kutika), Malay, and Javanese scripts (Palilindon, Pararaton, Babad Momana, and Sengkala) and contain stories about disasters that happened in the past, he informed.
It is crucial to raise public awareness by writing or recording every disaster event, he noted"Writing about natural signs that occur adds a lot of references. It is still difficult to find books that are qualified in the field," he explained.
He said there are few books related to the nation's ability in preparing equipment to mitigate disasters.
Meanwhile, head of ANRI, Imam Gunarto, said that the study center inauguration was carried out in collaboration with the National Library, National Civil Service Agency (BKN), Syiah Kuala University (USK), and the Aceh regional government.
"We already have the archives, sources, political support, funding, equipment, and building. Next is to build a common awareness throughout the world," Gunarto said.
He further said that he hopes the study center will have an impact on the social and tourism sector with many people visiting it to learn about disasters.
"Because we are a nation that easily forgets, this study center is an effort to extend our recollections of disasters," he remarked.
Bima Haria, who became the coordinator for the Preparation Blueprint of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh Nias in 2004-2009, shared his experiences in preserving archives post the tsunami.
"I also helped ANRI save the archives that were (washed away) by the tsunami. Especially the important ones," Haria recalled.
He revealed the idea of building the center for disaster studies has been there since 2005. The community must receive information related to disasters to understand the signs and respond quickly when a disaster occurs, he explained.
"This disaster studies center is dynamic where people around the world can understand, access, and learn, as there are also accessible digital archives," he added.