The Role of Archives in Disaster Mitigation

PUBLISHED,- For a historian, history student, or history activist, archives are an invaluable treasure for them. Because the archives themselves in the sense according to Law 43 of 2009 concerning archives are records of activities or events in various forms and media in accordance with the development of information and communication technology made and received by state institutions, regional governments, educational institutions, companies, political organizations, community organizations , and individuals in the implementation of social, national and state life. This is what makes archives very important for historical writing as a primary source. Then the question is whether archives are useful for disaster mitigation activities in an area.

Of course, the answer is that archives have a role in disaster mitigation activities. If we look at the definition of an archive as explained above, we can conclude that an archive will store information about the life of a society at the time the archive was written. This will of course be the main key to the role of archives in disaster mitigation, because archives store information, especially in this discussion, disaster information.

By looking at disaster-themed archives, we can take historical lessons from the past regarding disaster events in an area. By looking at historical archives related to disasters in an area, the government and private sector can examine the layout of cities or businesses. So that structural and cultural disaster mitigation measures can be implemented in the area.

For example, we can look at the archives in the form of disaster catalogs published by the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information National Research Council Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The archive contains information about earthquake and tsunami events in Indonesia and Asia. So by reading these archives, the government, NGOs, private sector, or researchers can add references to places where earthquakes and tsunamis have previously occurred, so that they can take mitigation steps to deal with disasters that may occur in the future. 

Besides that, a good archiving culture also has things that are very useful for disaster mitigation activities. Archiving disaster-prone areas through digitization such as the INARISK project, and One Data Indonesia Portal is a good step. With the presence of a web that stores archives and records related to disaster-prone areas, it is hoped that future generations will certainly be able to read and take good steps by looking at existing archival references.

Hopefully the presence of this article will raise enthusiasm for the study of disaster archives or disaster archiving activities. Because the explanation above shows that archives are treasures for the study of disaster issues. 

Author: Abdurrahman Heriza

Editor: Lien Sururoh

Translator: Nugrah Aryatama


 “UU No. 43 Tahun 2009 Tentang Kearsipan [JDIH BPK RI],” accessed September 2, 2023,

 Kuntowijoyo, Pengantar Ilmu Sejarah, 2nd ed. (Yogyakarta: Tiara Wacana, 2013), h 74.

 Catalogue of Tsunamis on the Western Shore of the Pacific Ocean (Institute of Oceanic Sciences, Canada, 1984). Raistiwar Pratama, “Cincin Arsip: Penanggulangan Bencana Dan Pengelolaan Arsip,” Jurnal Kearsipan 14, no. 1 (2019): 15–30.