International SARBICA Symposium 2019: Archives in Southeast Asia


The 2019 International Symposium of the Southeast Asia Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (SARBICA) will be hosted by the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), an ASEMUS member. It will take place from 24-28 June 2019 in Singapore.

With the theme of “Rethinking Archives: Reframing Boundaries, Imagining Possibilities, the SARBICA Symposium 2019 hopes to explore the intersection of privacy, security, and the management and preservation of records and data on one hand as well as the innovative deployment of archives and oral history in citizen engagement.

The programme of the Symposium includes two keynote speakers, namely the illustrious expert on archival diplomatics and electronic records Dr Luciana Duranti from Canada, and the renowned oral historian Dr Alistair Thomson from Australia. Over 40 other presentation proposals have also been accepted by the organisers, from a range of countries in Asia, the Pacific and elsewhere.

A set of thematic workshops have been planned for 24 and 25 June, on issues including the following:

  • Oral history methodology
  • Preservation of audiovisual materials
  • Emergency and disaster preparedness for heritage collections
  • Digital preservation
  • Archives and oral history in art and theatre

An excursion to the National Gallery Singapore, also an ASEMUS member, has been scheduled for 27 June. On 28 June, visits to several heritage-related institutions in Singapore have been planned, including the National Archives of Singapore and the National Heritage Board’s Heritage Conservation Centre.


SARBICA is the first Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ICA). It was established on 9 July 1968 at an inaugural conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its purpose was to promote collaboration among the nations in the region in the administration, preservation, conservation and use of archives.

SARBICA’s stated aims and objectives are:

  • To establish, maintain and strengthen relations between archivists of all countries in the region and between all institutions, professional bodies and organisations which are concerned with the custody, organisation or administration of archives;
  • To promote all measures for the preservation, protection and defence against all manner of hazards of the archival heritage of the region, and to further the progress of all aspects of administration and preservation of these archives;
  • To facilitate the use of archives of the region by making them more widely known and by encouraging greater ease of access;
  • To promote, organise and co-ordinate activities in the field of archives in the region;
  • To co-operate with other organisations or institutions concerned with the documentation of human experience and the use of that documentation for the benefit of mankind;
  • To generally carry out the aims and objectives of ICA.

Today, there are 10 member countries represented in SARBICA namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Further information

For additional information about the SARBICA Symposium 2019, please visit


Be informed of the Latest Projects, News and Events