HK government to digitize 3.5m new public records by 2028

The Public Records Office plans to digitize around 350,000 records a year over the next 10 years (Image Madmaxer / iStockPhoto)

The Public Records Office plans to nearly double its percentage of digitized records over the next 10 years.

In a reply to a council question from IT legislative councillor Charles Mok, the office revealed that it plans to produce around 350,000 digital images of its records per year in the coming 10 years, concentrating on archival holdings with high popularity first.

This is expected to increase the total number of digital images kept by the office to 6 million items, or 10% to 15% of all archival records.

Currently 5.7% of the office's holdings have been digitized to produce around 2 million digital images, including around 1.3 million digital images of microfilm collections, oversized maps and architectural plans that are of greater public demand.

These include 60% of films (1,800), 46% of posters (600), 38% of Photographs (6,000) and 27% of maps and plans (2,300), but only 9% of files and bound volumes (69,300) and 0.8% of microfilms (5,800).

Meanwhile the office stated that from May 24 it has been offering the public the ability to obtain copies of digital records free of charge by using their own photographic devices to take images on a computer screen, provided that they comply with the relevant regulatory or copyright considerations.