Penang Free School scores another first

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 25 May 2017

Precious artefact: Omar (left) and Azemi with the original PFS establishment article dating back to 1885.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Free School (PFS) is the first school in the country to be adopted by the National Archives of Malaysia to preserve its historical documents, relics and artefacts.

National Archives of Malaysia director-general Azemi Abdul Aziz said the many historical treasures at the oldest English school in Southeast Asia should be preserved for the future generation.

“The idea was mooted during the school’s bicentenary celebration in October last year.

“We realised the school is rich with its own historic materials.

“Through the signing of Memorandum of Collaboration, more documents and artifacts can be preserved,” he told a press conference after the signing of MoC at the school yesterday.

Azemi said the next move would be to ‘digitise’ the materials.

“Once they are available in digital form, it can help to preserve the materials of which some them are old or in fragile conditions.

“We can also share these materials not only with Penangites, but whole country and the world once the digitised documents are uploaded onto a website,” he said.

Azemi said PFS already had its own archives department, where it stores and preserves the historical items.

However, he said the school still needs guidance from the experts to preserve it.

PFS principal Omar Abdul Rashid said some of the documents dated back to 1885. The materials include student register, magazines, account registration and collection of photographs.

He said the school was excited and honoured to be adopted by the National Archives of Malaysia.

“We need proper assistance and guidance to preserve the historical materials in a systematic way.

“The MoC is valid for three years and it will be renewed upon expiry,” he said.

Also present to witness the signing were National Archives deputy director-general (research and development sector) G. Savumthararaj and deputy director (administrative and planning) Ihsan Hassan.

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