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12.11.2015 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Workshop on the Nomination of the Archives of the Borobudur Temple World Heritage site as Memory of the World

The Borobudur Conservation Office (BCO), Indonesian Memory of the World Committee, the National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI), Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Australian Memory of the Committee, and UNESCO have collaborated to hold a workshop on the ‘Nomination of the Archives of the Borobudur Temple World Heritage site as Memory of the World’, from the 10-11 November 2015. The workshop was a continuation of the general training conducted with the support of UNESCO in September 2015, and gave advanced training support for the development of a nomination for the archives of the Borobudur Conservation Office as UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW).

The workshop was officially opened by Drs. Marsis Sutopo, Director of the Borobudur Conservation Office, who shared that the Borobudur Conservation Archive is a set of documents, pictures, films and maps related to the conservation of the Borobudur Temple. Borobodur was the focus of one of the earliest international campaigns to preserve a site considered to be of global significance which proceeded the creation of the World Heritage Convention and the archives hold this important record. Mr. Sutopo further added that the archive is a valuable and unique resource to understand the Borobudur Temple, which dates back to the 8th century, and demonstrates how the temple was originally constructed, the history of the conservation of the site, the state of conservation over time, and much more.

The following session was delivered by Dr Rosslyn Russell, Chair of the Australian Memory of the World Committee, who delivered a presentation entitled ‘The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme: an international perspective’. The presentation gave a background of the MoW program and its key aims of preservation and access to documentary heritage. Dr Russell also elaborated that this workshop takes place in a larger context of efforts to provide training to people in the Asia-Pacific in preparing nominations to the Registers. This is a response to the 2005 MoW Intentional Advisory Council (IAC) meeting in Lijiang, China, where it was raised that ‘half the inscriptions on the International Register were from Europe’.

Drs. Imam Gunarto, Director of Acquisitions at the National Archive of Indonesia, and member of the Indonesian Memory of the World Committee, then delivered a presentation on the nomination process of the records of the Asian-African Conference Archives Documentary heritage submitted by Indonesia and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2015. Mr. Gunarto outlined that the nomination process took over three (3) years, and involved collaboration with national and international institutions. 

Following these presentations, the participants were divided into working groups to respond to each section of the nomination form. This work was supported by an archives expert from the Gadjah Mada University (UGM), as well as two former technical staff involved in the conservation of the Borobudur Temple from 1971-1983. The groups worked to refine the draft nomination document using the knowledge gained through the training. The workshop concluded with a presentation of the draft nomination form that the BCO hopes to nominate to UNESCO by March 2016.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is thus intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.
Memory of the World:



Training at Borobudur September 2015:



Training and expert study on the Borobudur Archive November 2014



Complementary approaches to cultural heritage safeguarding:



For further information please contact Andrew Henderson: a.henderson(at)unesco.org


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