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New inscriptions for Memory of the World Register

20-06-2007 (Paris)
New inscriptions for Memory of the World Register
Ned Kelly shoots Fitzpatrick
(from Australia - the "Story
of Kelly Gang")
© National Film and Sound Archive
Canberra, Australia
Thirty-eight new items are inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.
Thirty-eight items of documentary heritage of exceptional value have just been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, bringing the total number of inscriptions since 1997 to 158. The UNESCO/Jikji Prize for 2007 was awarded to Phonogrammarchiv, an institute within the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The Memory of the World Register lists documentary heritage which has been identified by the International Advisory Committee and endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO as corresponding to the selection criteria for world significance.

Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, has accepted the recommendation of the International Advisory Committee, which met this year in Pretoria (South Africa) from 11 to 15 June, to inscribe the following documents in the Memory of the World Register:

Africa - Unpublished Papers of Christopher Okigbo, considered one of the most renowned African poets of the 20th century, killed during the civil war in Nigeria.

Argentina - Human Rights Documentary Heritage 1976 - 1983 – These “Archives for Truth, Justice and Memory in the struggle against State Terrorism” testify to a period in history when human rights were violated by the Argentine state.

Australia - The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world’s first feature-length film, which has allowed Australia to discover the earliest trace of a beloved myth, part of its collective memory (see article, “The Return of the Kelly Gang” in the UNESCO Courier, June 2007).

The Convict Records of Australia: written account of the deportation over 80 years (1788-1868) of some 165,000 convicts from the United Kingdom, who founded the independent Australian Commonwealth.

AustriaThe Tabula Peutingeriana or Peutinger’s Table, only surviving ancient map depicting the road network of the cursus publicus, the Roman Empire’s public communications service.

Canada - Hudson’s Bay Company Archival records, comprising the documents that contain the history of the company founded in 1670 and still existing today, which played a crucial role in Canada’s creation.

Quebec Seminary Collection, 1623-1800 – Founded in 1663, with the aim of training priests and evangelizing Native Americans of the Quebec diocese, which at the time covered all of North America, the seminary witnessed the birth of Quebec and Canada.

China - Qing Dynasty Yangshi Lei Archives: from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th, a dozen members of the Lei family over eight generations built a series of imperial palaces (now on the World Heritage List). The blueprints and construction methods bequeathed by the Lei family are collected under the name Yangshi Lei or “Lei Models”.

Czech Republic - Collection of medieval manuscripts of the Czech Reformation: these archives preserve the memory of the Reformation, which led to the founding of new Protestant structures, such as the Unity of Brethren, the oldest Czech Protestant church, which played an active part in the Lutheran movement.

Collection of Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian émigré periodicals 1918-1945: unique collection of newspapers and journals published between the two world wars by the first wave of Russian emigration, which left Boshevik Russia and scattered all over the world.

Denmark - El Primer Nueva Coronica y Buen Gobierno: this 1,200 page manuscript with 400 full-page drawings, discovered in 1908, is kept in the Copenhagen Royal Library. It takes the form of a letter to King Philip III of Spain, asking him to give power back to the indigenous people of Peru.

Sound Toll Registers: a record of the passage of every ship that sailed the Danish straits between the 15th and 19th centuries, the documents represent a mine of information on the era’s international trade. The oldest toll register is dated 1497. The complete collection covers 1557 to 1857, when the toll was abolished.

Egypt - Persian Illustrated and Illuminated Manuscripts: issued from different royal ateliers, the 71 rare manuscripts in this collection illustrate the evolution of royal ateliers from the 14th to the 19th century.

Europe – (Poland, Russian Federation and Slovenia) - Codex Suprasliensis – Mineiačetia, Mart (The Supraśl Codex – Menology, March): This is the most voluminous (285 folios of parchment) collection of rare manuscripts written in Old Church Slavonic in existence today. It is one of the earliest testimonials to the reception of Christianity by the Slavs and also valuable for studying the language.

France - Bayeux Tapestry: a historical narrative, but also a fundamental source for description of the medieval way of life, this embroidery of the 11th century (called tapestry) has been the subject of 500 publications since its discovery in the 1720s. It retains some of its mystery and is the only object of its kind in the world. Dimensions: 68.8 m long by 50 cm wide. Weight: 350 kg

Germany - collection of manuscript papers of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, famous German philosopher, scientist, mathematician, diplomat, librarian and legislator.

Hungary - Tabula Hungariae: this map (sine die), of which several copies were made beginning in 1552, represents in accurate detail the system of settlements of the Hungarian Kingdom. It was discovered in 1880.

IndiaRigveda: the 30 manuscripts of the Rigveda dating from 1800 to 1500 B.C., kept in the Bhandarkar Institute in Pune, are the oldest Vedic texts (scriptures of the Hindu religion). For Indians, the Vedas exist since the beginning of the world and are the source of revealed truth.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - Archives of the International Prisoners of War Agency, 1914-1923: testimony on the extent of human suffering during the First World War, but also of pioneering action to protect civilians, the documents widen perspective for the study of international relations from the angle of humanitarian aid.

Iran - “Bayasanghori Shâhnâmeh” (Prince Bayasanghor’s Book of the Kings): the “Book of Kings” by the famous poet Ferdowsi (941-1020) is considered the equivalent of the “Iliad” or the “Aeniad” in the Persian-speaking world. The work was recopied many times, but the only remaining copy was executed in 1430 at the request of Prince Bayasanghor (1399-1433), grandson of legendary Central Asian monarch Timur (1336-1405).

The Deed For Endowment: Rab’ I-Rashidi (Rab’ I-Rashidi Endowment): Deed written by Rashil al-Din (1247-1318), Persian statesman and historian who built a huge complex on the outskirts of Tabriz comprising schools, hospitals, libraries, hammams, caravanserai, workshops, etc, known under the name of Rab’ I-Rashidi.

Latin America - (Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) American Colonial Music: a sample of its documentary richness from these four countries, between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Mexico - Colección de Lenguas Indigenas: Four centuries of colonization are recounted and illustrated in this collection, kept in Guadalajara. Its 166 books, printed beginning in 1539, also preserve the memory of 17 indigenous languages, some of which have practically disappeared (see article, “A bridge between cultures”, UNESCO Courier, June 2007).

Nicaragua - Archives of national literacy campaign: unique collection of diverse documents created during a campaign organized in 1980, when the dictatorship of the Somoza family was overthrown. More than 60,000 young people participated. In five months, the rate of illiteracy dropped from 50% to 12%.

Philippines - José Maceda Collection: 1760 hours of recordings of Southeast Asian music, made in 1936, form the bulk of the collection owned by internationally famous composer and ethnomusicologist José Maceda (1917-2004).

Poland - National Education Commission Archives: unique collection of recordings and documents dating from 1773-1794, related to the reform of the Polish educational system, which had a profound impact on national identity.

Portugal - Corpo Cronológico (Collection of Manuscripts on the Portuguese Discoveries): more than 83,000 documents, most from the 15th and early 16th centuries, inform us on the interaction between Europeans, particularly the Portuguese, and African, Asian and Latin American populations in the Age of Discovery.

Republic of Korea - Printing woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and miscellaneous Buddhist scriptures: This is the most complete collection of texts of the Buddhist canon, carved on 81,258 wooden blocks between 1237 and 1248. They are kept in the Haeinsa temple on Mount Kaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995.

Uigwe: The Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty: unique collection of documents and illustrations depicting the royal ceremonies of this dynasty, which reigned from 1392 to 1910. It consists of nearly 4,000 books.

Slovakia - Mining maps and plans of the Main Chamber - Count Office in Banská Štiavnica: the collection contains 20,000 maps and plans from the 17th to the early 20th century, representing Slovakian mines and surrounding areas. Some show technical aspects of mining activity, such as the system of water reservoirs in the town of Banská Štiavnica, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993.

South Africa - Criminal Court Case No. 253/1963 (State versus N. Mandela and Others): proceedings of the trial of the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), during which Nelson Mandela stood in the dock and proclaimed the goals of the ANC, before his incarceration on Robben Island until 1990.

Liberation Struggle Living Archive Collection, project aimed at preserving and digitizing the audio-visual archives of the struggle against apartheid.

Spain/Portugal - Treaty of Tordesillas: an ensemble of agreements signed on 7 June 1494 between the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs, establishing a new demarcation line dividing the world between Spain and Portugal. Following the modification of the line, Portugal’s zone was extended to the eastern end of the South-American continent where Brazil was to be born.

Sweden - Ingmar Bergman Archives: this collection of archives originated with Ingmar Bergman’s personal collection, reflecting 65 years of artistic creation, which the famous film director donated in its entirety to the Swedish Film Institute in 2002. The Ingmar Bergman Foundation was established following the donation.

- The Alfred Nobel Family Archives: covering the period between 1840 and 1900, the archives concern primarily the Nobel family’s industrial and commercial activities in imperial Russia, which played a key role in the life of Alfred Nobel, inventor, industrialist and internationally renowned philanthropist.

United Kingdom - Hereford Mappa Mundi: It is the only complete example of a large medieval world map. It is characterized by the inclusion of a quantity of historical (notably on Biblical and classical antiquity), anthropological, ethnographic and theological information.

United States of America - The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming 1939), produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: a film celebrating kindness, charity, friendship, courage, fortitude, love and generosity, released in 1939, as the Second World War was spreading across the world. It remains one of the most popular and memorable films in the history of cinema.

Venezuela - Colombeia: Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda’s Archives: covering the end of the 18th to the beginning of the 19th centuries, the archives of the great Latin American promoter of independence are testimony to great moments in human history, such as Spain’s war against the Moors of the Alauita Sultanate of Morocco, the war of independence in the United States, political life in Tsarist Russia and the French Revolution.

The UNESCO/Jikji Prize, consisting of an award of US$ 30,000, is given every two years to promote the objectives of the Memory of the World Programme. It is named after the oldest known book of movable metal print in the world, made in Korea. The prize is funded by the Republic of Korea.

The 2007 prizewinner, Phonogrammarchiv, is recognized for its substantial contribution to the advancement of audio and video preservation. The oldest sound archive of the world, founded in 1899, its collection now includes more than 50,000 recordings.

The Memory of the World Programme was launched 15 years ago, with the aim of preserving and digitizing humanity’s documentary heritage. With the support of UNESCO, dozens of archive collections, thousands of meters of film and millions of pages of manuscripts, books or newspapers have been preserved for posterity.
Related themes/countries

      · Latin America/Caribbean
      · Europe and North America
      · Argentina
      · Australia
      · Austria
      · Bolivia
      · Canada
      · China
      · Colombia
      · Czech Republic
      · Korea (Republic of)
      · Denmark
      · Germany
      · Hungary
      · India
      · Iran (Islamic Republic of)
      · Mexico
      · Nicaragua
      · Peru
      · Philippines
      · Poland
      · Portugal
      · Spain
      · Sweden
      · Slovenia
      · Slovakia
      · Venezuela
      · Memory of the World Register
      · United States of America: News Archives
      · 8th Meeting of the IAC, Pretoria, South Africa
11-15 June 2007

      · News Archives
      · Memory of the World: News archives 2007
      · Africa: News Archive 2007
      · France: News Archives 2007
      · United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: News Archives
      · South Africa: News Archives 2007
      · Egypt: News Archives 2007
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