Yale University Library


Visiting Librarians: Christine Byaruhanga

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Uganda Christian University, Mukono, Uganda


International Associate, Spring 2008

Christine Byaruhanga, Archivist at Uganda Christian University, is the seventh information professional to come to Yale under the auspices of the International Associates Program, a pilot project launched in 2005.

Uganda Christian University (UCU) was founded as the Bishop Tucker Theological College in 1913 and assumed its present name in 1997. Since then its programs have expanded rapidly. It is a private university owned by the Church of the Province of Uganda (Anglican) and considers itself to be a resource for the East African region. The Yale Divinity School Library is partnering with Uganda Christian University to microfilm Christian records in Uganda and the Great Lakes region of East Africa. The records cover the history of the Anglican Church of Uganda and are kept at the UCU archives located in Mukono, about fifteen miles northeast of Kampala. The records are scanned and then sent for processing by IDC Publishers in Leiden, The Netherlands. Yale and UCU will each receive copies of the microfilm and the digital images. IDC will market the collection, The project is being financed by the Kenneth Scott Latourette Initiative for the Documentation of World Christianity.

In June 2006, Yale Divinity School Librarian Paul Stuehrenberg and Dorothy Woodson, Curator of the African Collection, visited Uganda Christian University to make final arrangements for the microfilming project. This was followed, in September, by Martha Smalley's ( Divinity's Curator of the Day Missions Collection) visit to consult with Christine about progress on processing the archives. Christine had attended an archives training seminar sponsored by the U.S. National Archives in 2006, but had little hands-on archival experience. With Martha’s help, Christine and her staff commenced processing the collection so that it could be microfilmed, including the creation of electronic finding aids. A finding aid for the first series, Guide to the Archives of the Bishop of Uganda - Record Group No. 1, was created in July 2007.

At Yale Christine continued developing her archival skills and enhanced the finding aids she developed for the collection, using the digital images provided by IDC. Based at the Divinity Library, and working primarily with Special Collection staff, she paid special attention to how archival materials are acquired, processed, maintained, and accessed electronically. In particular, she had the opportunity to familiarize herself with such products as Xmetal (an XML-based software for structured authoring and content collaboration ), which she used to enhance the finding aid of the Bishop of Uganda Record Group, and The Archivists’ Toolkit, an open source archival data management system used to create a resource and component records of archival materials. She also visited other Yale libraries and collections, spent precious time with their curators and staff, and made a presentation on the archival collection at Uganda Christian University for Manuscripts and Archives staff.

Towards the end of her stay, Christine had the opportunity to attend a couple of conferences, “The Majority Speaks: Global Perspectives on Mission,” at the Andover Newton Theological School, outside of Boston (May 10), which was followed by the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) 2008 Annual Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (June 22-28). Christine holds a diploma in Library and Information Science from the Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (now part of Kyambogo University, near Kampala), a Bachelor of Science in Financial and Computer Management from the Cyprus Institute of Marketing in Nicosia, Cyprus, a Certificate in National Archives and Administration from the Modern Archives Institute in Washington, D.C., and is working on her Master of Science in Management Information Systems at Nkumba University in Entebbe, Uganda.