On 1 and 2 June 2023, Senegal was rocked by violent socio-political demonstrations. Unfortunately, the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar was badly hit. Many archival repositories were targeted by the demonstrators. At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, which was the worst hit, almost 20,000 students’ administrative files were burnt. The archives covered the period from 1957 to the present day.
Hamady Gaye, Secretary General of the Senegal Blue Shield National Committee and Blue Shield International Board member, is the Curator of Libraries and the Head of the Conservation and Preservation of Collections Department at Cheikh Anta Diop University. Together with the Head of the Archives, they coordinated the rescue efforts. Emilie Geugnas, Chair of the International Council on Archives’ Expert Group on Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness, who also sits on the Board of Blue Shield International, also offered assistance.
Although the damage to the student files in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences was extensive, fortunately, the archives and documents in the central library were not affected by the demonstrations. Nevertheless, Gaye and the other Curators have increased security and preventive conservation measures to cover any eventuality.