In support of the State's research and archiving activities, Ministry of Finance announces:
- A plan is set to proceed on developing and automating the Public Archiving House (PAH) to safeguard Egypt's economic & social legacy.
- A new comprehensive compound is to be established to archive documents and files of the Ministry's affiliated entities and the PAH.
- Around 5 million documents preserved at PAH have been completely digitalized.
Within the framework of the Ministry of Finance's plan to upgrade its affiliated entities and the PAH in particular, Finance Minister Mr. Amr Al-Garhy announced that a central compound linked to the PAH is currently studied to be established at the financial district in the New Administrative Capital.
Such move is initiated by the valuable economic and social information legacy of the Egyptian modern era stored at the PAH. The new compound will be equipped with an electronic archiving system for all the historical documents of the PAH and for those of the Ministry of Finance's affiliated entities: the Taxation Authority, the Egyptian Real Estate Taxation Authority, Customs Authority. High-tech electronic storage solutions will be employed in archiving and digitalizing such documents so as to connect all databases of public entities together, to develop publicly-accessed services and to support mutual exchange of information among the Ministry of Finance and other public entities.
Head of the Egyptian Real Estate Taxation Authority (RTA), Dr. Samia Hussein, underlines that the PAH is deemed one of the most important Egyptian historical information repository thanks to enclosing a considerable number of historical documents dating back to the Ottoman era and the French campaign, in addition to all the State's official documents. The PAH is also one of the main information resources for researchers, citizens and official entities as well.
Almost 5 million of the PAH's documents have been completely digitalized according to the concluded protocol with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina that aims to scan terrier registers of agricultural lands (Mokalfat) in order to minimize usage of paper records. Moreover, security cameras and electronic recoding & surveillance systems for the PAH premises have also been installed in cooperation with the relevant security bodies, she adds.
The RTA staff are currently working in coordination with the relevant authorities on indexing and preparing electronic copies of all official documents and registers preserved at the PAH. This shall help in safeguarding Egypt's national legacy of the modern era – given the PAH contains copies of all the State's official documents since Mohammed Ali Pasha's reign - and also in facilitating access to interested researchers and sociolinguists, she further notes.
On his part, Finance Minister's advisor, Engineer Sherif Hazem, states that the PAH provides many public services such as access to birth and death certificates dating back to Mohamed Ali Pasha's era and to 1961, official copies of ownership certificates of agricultural lands and real estate properties . It also contains 90 thousand service files for many top state officials and 1500 files for historical figures, such as, Taha Hussein, Ali Mubarak Pasha, Ahmed Orabi, Saad Zagloul, Mustafa Al Nahas, Dr. Mustafa Al-Marghy, and Abd Al-Rahman Azam Bey, to name a few.
Moreover, Mr. Hazem stresses that PAH is of significant important due to the vital historical files and registers preserved therein such as judicial verdict folders, agricultural land ownership certificates since 1872, registers of authorized areas, registers of births, deaths and inoculations. All of them are recorded on microfilm system which was regarded as the then best storing and retrieving system introduced prior to electronic digitalization.
It is worthy to note that the PAH is one of the oldest establishments pertained with archiving official documents. It is established by almost 10 years prior to London's Public Record Office and to France’s L'archive National by 30 years. The PAH also incorporates a document restoring center that is considered to be one of the oldest restoring system worldwide.