Memory of the World - Preserving our Documentary Heritage

Abdelaziz Abed


The paper outlines the main features of "Memory of the Worid", a U N E S C O Programme to safeguard endangered documentary heritage, democratize access to it, increase awareness of its signifícance and distribute, on a large scaie, products derived from it. Criteria to list documentary heritage on the "Memory of the Worid" Register and to select projects are set out, together with a brief account of the Programme's technical, legal and financial framework.

A number of pilot projects are briefly described. They consist mainly in digitization programmes and a C D - R O M series featuring a selection of manuscripts from the National Library in Prague, the Radzivilí Chronicíe in Saint Petersburg, medieval manuscripts conceming the symbolic figure Saint Sophia, patron saint of the capital of Bulgária, a collection of Yemenite manuscripts inciuding the Koranic fragments at Sana'a, a preservation project of astronomical manuscripts of Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul, a selection of manuscripts from the Egyptian National Library and another selection from Viínius University Library reflecting in turn medieval Arab and European scientific advancement, a few thousand photographs from the nineteenth century illustrating the history of some ten countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, na inventory of nineteenth century Latin American newspapers and their state of preservation and na ambitious project called "Memory of Rússia".

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