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1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Information is a commodity that everyone requires for survival just like air and water. Organizations and institutions created and developed by man cannot subsist without necessary information which propels it. It is through information that man becomes knowledgeable and it is through knowledge that development came to be and is through development that society continues to change and transform. That suggests why Aina (2004) stated that information transforms the environment usually through appropriate research. No wonder research workers are beginning to regard information as the fourth economic resource after land, labour and capital. Stonier (1991) highlighted the importance of information when he stated that information was the most important factor in the modern production system as opposed to land, labour and capital because if one possessed enough information one could reduce the requirement of land, labour and capital. According to Alhassan (2011) information can be seen as communicated knowledge of man. Information can be documented and thus exchangeable. Information documentation is as old as human civilization and it comes in different formats such as prints, images or electronic. Aina (2004) stated that the clay tablets of cuneiform signs and characters were used to record the activities of the government, temple and business in the ancient Mesopotamia. Later, rolls made of papyrus were used as medium of recorded information in Egypt, and in China, animal bones and tortoise shells were used as a medium of recorded knowledge. The discovery of the print media revolutionized the recording of information and modern libraries. As stated by Edoka (2000), libraries are repositories of recorded knowledge. This implies that when recorded knowledge of mankind is collected and organized for use then, a library arose. However, certain records of human activities are collected for their historical and evidential values and such collection is referred to as archives. According to Aina (2004) Archives and records management centres are institutions responsible for the collection and preservation of public and historical records for the use of historians and researchers. The archives are concerned mainly with the management and preservation of non-current records in an organization. Information is sometimes carried in artifacts of historical importance the collection of which is referred to as museum. According to Aina (2004) a museum is an institution that collects, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits arts, audio-visual materials, biological specimens, archaeological links etc. for the purpose of study, education, research, and enjoyment. They are concerned mainly with the collection and preservation of artifacts. Library collections, archival collections and museum artifacts are information resources that are of significance in research, especially historical research for which Arewa House is known for.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Ikara (1988) the history of Arewa House as a center for research and historical documentation dates back to 1970 when the ‘History of Northern Nigeria Committee’ was given the responsibility of writing a book on the history of northern Nigeria. This was after the dissolution of the three regional governments in the country and the creation of twelve states, which led to the enactment of the Joint Interim Common Services Agency (ICSA) to oversee the joint assets and liabilities of the northern region. The house of the late Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and the Sardauna of Sokoto was formally approved to serve as an office for this project with the name Arewa House. Arewa House is a centre affiliated to the Department of History of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Nigeria. The centre is concerned, not only with research and documentation of the history and culture of the people of northern Nigeria but also with current studies on policy, peace and leadership (Ikara1988). As a center for historical documentation and research, Arewa house is primarily concerned with procuring, preserving, analyzing and discussing issues of national and international interest and particularly the issues of specific interest to the development of Northern Nigeria. It is today one of the few reputable research centers with an enviable core collection of books and manuscripts including higher degree dissertation from various universities in Nigeria and abroad. These dissertations cut across different fields of study most particularly humanities and social sciences and many of them are of thematic interest to the study of Northern Nigeria. Arewa House has rare collections of Arabic manuscripts, the late premier’s office records, Government publications, newspapers, Gifts and donations from Central Bank of Nigeria, individuals and other serial publications which are housed in the Archives. The centre accepts research students, scholars and researchers. It provides research affiliation to students from all parts of the world conducting research on any aspects of the state and society in Northern Nigeria. It is designed to provide documentation and research facilities in the field of Nigeria history and culture particularly in field of traditional institution and intellectual history such provided by institutions in Nigeria or elsewhere .
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Arewa House is structured into four departments for effective management and these are Research, Archives, Library, and Museum. The mandate of Arewa House Kaduna is to collect various historical documentations of northern origin, and this definitely is not easy in view of the fact that some remote areas may not even be aware of their mandate thus limiting the exhaustiveness of their acquisition. Furthermore, visit to the centre does not immediately reveal the presence of researchers, as scanty scholars are noticed thereby probing thoughts of people’s awareness about the activities of the centre, the proper organization of the resources, and the forms of resources acquired and perhaps people having challenges in utilizing the resources. These and other issues agitated the mind of the researchers. It is against this back drop that this study investigates the acquisition procedure and utilization of information resources in Arewa House.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the history of arewa house, Kaduna. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. To assess the role of arewa house Kaduna.
2. To examine the original purpose of the arewa house Kaduna.
3. To examine the different departments in the Arewa house, Kaduna.
1.4. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to historians, the generality of Nigerians as it would reveal the history of the arewa house center for historical research and documentation. the study would also greatly benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further study on the subject matter.
1.5. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research is restricted to the history of arewa house, center for historical research and documentation from 1970-2015.
1.6. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND LIMITATION
A research work of this nature naturally depends on both oral and written sources so the two approaches were employed to enhance a credible and worthwhile endeavor in the form of this work.
In the course of this research, people of diverse origin and background were interviewed, those whose antecedents are from the area under review. Those who are not from the area but work there. Those who are witnesses or offspring of witnesses, who could narrate with pleasing exactitude, the time of arrival of colonial masters and the effect that their coming had on these institutions.
On written documents, there are no sufficient materials to lay hands on and so materials used include library materials either private or public library, articles, thesis as well as existing projects.
Meanwhile, the major problem faced in the course of this research is non-availability of materials as not much had been written on the area.
Also, there was reluctance of the informants in giving out information and so they had to be cajoled and in most cases interview had to be rescheduled.
1.7. LITERATURE REVIEW
Libraries are repositories of information in whatever format it may appear. A library is primarily set up to acquire, organize, store and make accessible to users within the quickest possible time all forms of information materials which they require (Nwalo,2003). According to Ifidon (1999), in the university, the library plays a major role in making the university achieve its objectives of teaching, research, and community service through the provision of information resources for undergraduate instruction as well as postgraduate research needs. Cunningham and Philips (2005) defined record as information created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligation or business.” According to Maidabino (2010) “archival records are non-current records of an organization, individuals or families created, received and preserved (by public archives agency) because of their administrative, historical, legal, cultural, or other values.” He stated further that Public archival agencies play a vital role to the community because they promote reliable archival records keeping and maintain a visible, accessible and known collection. The nature and coverage of archival resources according to Evborokhai (1990) include books, paper, maps, photographs, machine readable materials either documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics generated or received by a department or organization in connection with the transaction of its business and preserved as evidence of its functions, policies, decision, operations or activities or because of the information value in them Maidabino (2010) submitted that access and use of such records can have a significant value to individuals, institutions and society in general. He stressed further that the accessibility and use of records of human knowledge, their preservation and passages or communication among successive generations no doubt constitute the greatest single treasure of the human heritage. This is because they provide opportunities for maintaining the legal integrity of the individual, organization, and families including entitlements as well as the use of the archival information for administrative actions As opined by Jimerson (2003) public archival clienteles include administrative staff of the institution, scholars, genealogists, local historians, legal researchers, specialists in one or more professional disciplines, college or school students and hobbyists. These clienteles are mostly researchers who recognize the values of these information sources. According to Ifidon and Ifidon (2007), research is man’s systematic and empirical investigation into existing but hidden elements in nature with a view to unearthing, restructuring, and explaining such elements for the purpose of development. For the success of any research, there is the need for adequate and accurate information obtainable from reliable and dependable sources. These information sources can come from the library, archives or museum and they have to be carefully acquired through appropriate selection procedures to meet the needs of the users. Edoka (2000) affirmed that there are several ways of acquiring library resources which include purchase, exchange and gift. According to Eguavoen (2002) acquisition involves selection, ordering, purchase, soliciting for gifts or exchange. That is, all processes by which books are acquired in the library as well as maintaining appropriate records.
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