Endangered archives blog

05 May 2009

Mongolia and the free press

Last month we said goodbye to our Cataloguer Toni Hardy. Toni had been with us for six months. Most recently she was cataloguing EAP010 Preservation of rare periodical publications in Mongolia, a collection of newspapers copied from the Press Institute of Mongolia. The range of newspapers from this project represents unique historical material documenting political changes and the development of the indepent press in Mongolia after the fall of Communism in the early 1990s.

As objects of everyday use newspapers are often read, then discarded. Yet they also embody many of the ideals we attach to Democracy, such as freedom of the press and the public's right to know. The newspapers that form this Collection are part of Mongolia's recent social and political history. The next stage is unfolding as Mongolia currently debates the introduction of Freedom of Information legislation.

Newspapers are bastions of democracy. They are also great sources for researching local history and world events. This page from the Bodliin Solbitsol from 1994 shows a cartoon of the controversial Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded that year jointly to the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The award recognised the 1993 Oslo Accords which was seen as a turning point and the beginning of a process with a promise of peace. The prize hoped to encourage further efforts of peace in the Middle East.

The cartoonist appears sceptical as to the success of this promise.

EAP010_Mongolianperiodicals_bs941216_04_sml

The Project also produced an online collection: Digital Archive of the Mongolian Newspapers 1990-1995. This site provides access to full-text versions of the newspapers.

We wish Toni every success in her career.

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