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<email@example.com> A good example is the case of French African archives, when you may compare : - Archives of FEA (French Equatorial Africa) have been brought back to Aix en Provence : useful only for students staying in Aix, or for foreigners. researchers from Congo, Chad, Centrafrican republic (or even Gabon), who have especially few opportunnities to go outside, cannot realize good research on modern history because of that : interviews and field work is not enough by itself. - Archives of FWA (French West Africa), from the will and struggle of the French Archivist in charge of them at the moment of independence, were left on the spot, and are now part of Archives du Senegal. This is extraordinarily important for African researchers from the whole of francophone West Africa. This is quite possible for French or other Western researchers to go to Dakar to consult them, and they usually are quite well received. Yes, sure, documents are less well protected than in France. Many are in bad order or bad shape, a few where stolen, or lost. But nevertheless, it is much wiser to have them on the spot, even if Senegalese historians themselves may complain about their bad shape or difficulties for consultation. Part of the high quality of the Dakar school of History, and of the good work of Senegalese students, is due to the presence of this archival wealth on the spot, which is pretty well protected by the activity of the head of the Archive department. Local scholars have the possibility to work hard and well. Part of these archives have been microfilmed years ago and these copies are kept in Aix and in Paris : what has been copied is not enough, but quite enough at least for the level of a Master. Unfortunately, this microfilm campaign was interrupted by the French because of lack of money, and this is the only problem : copies should be made, and put in safe conditions in the Western world, who has to pay for it, because money is supposed to be found there more easily than in the South for this kind of affairs. For how to obtain at last a good Archive service in the South, if you begin to keep the archives off the South? No responsibility, no organization, no possibility of improvement. To my mind, it would be better, except for specific exceptions, even if you risk to loose part of the archives, to let them on the spot (which is, I remind, a kind of absolute law among archivists themselves, and the true reason why M. Maurel struggled so hard, years ago, to let FWA archives in Dakar). Why put this law aside just for the others? To my mind, it is worth while, even to loose part of this wealth.