Doctor Honoris Causa of ENS de Lyon - October 4, 2013
Jamaâ Baïda was born in 1955 in Morocco. He holds two doctorates, one in contemporary history and another in Information Sciences, Communication and Expression from the University of Bordeaux III. He has taught history at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Rabat since 1982. For more than thirty years, he has devoted his academic research to the study of the press as an auxiliary science of contemporary history.
As a historian, he considers that the archives sector is, for a nation, of undeniable interest, on an economic, administrative, social, cultural, scientific and historic level. In 2004, spurred by the absence of any regulation in this area, Jamâa Baïda took part in a working group at the l’Instance Équité et Réconciliation forum known as the IER in France, that recommended, amongst other things, the enactment of a law concerning archives as a founding text for the Archives of Morocco. Thanks to this work, the first law regulating archives was passed on November 30, 2007.
Setting up an institution from scratch is not an easy task. The work is colossal to catch up on decades and sometimes centuries of missing archives. Jamaâ Baïda has traveled the world in search of historical documents on Morocco to preserve the memory of his country. He has managed to convince decision makers of the importance of an institution dedicated to archives. Indeed, this historian has demonstrated that archives are both a label of authenticity of the facts and objects presented to the public and a tool for museography, the main basis of historical research.
His patience and perseverance have paid off: on March 30, 2011, Jamaâ Baïda was appointed head of the "archives of Morocco". On May 27, 2011, in Rabat, the "archives of Morocco" opened to the public and the historian's admirable determination was finally rewarded.