With this blog, we hope to make an empirical case for the importance of documentary heritage as part of any sustainable solution to the global pandemic. The overall aim is to stimulate reflection on the subject, both intellectually and empirically.
The blog’s inaugural post, written by Dr. Banda, argues that documentary heritage serves as a unique knowledge asset for COVID-19 decision-making, and describes three ways in which it is already contributing:
- influencing behaviour;
- instigating national policy responses or institutional initiatives; and
- providing an opportunity to harness technological innovation.
More blog posts will soon follow from experts, including those serving on the Sub-Committee on Education and Research (SCeaR) of the International Advisory Committee (IAC). They will draw upon records held by memory institutions (archives, libraries, museums, research organizations, etc.) to provide concrete examples of harnessing the potential of documentary heritage in individual and collective efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
The launch of “In Living Memory” follows the publication of the UNESCO joint statement on “Turning the Threat of COVID-19 into an Opportunity for Greater Support to Documentary Heritage”, which highlights the importance of memory institutions in helping us learn from past pandemics and effectively preserving all official records related to the current crisis for future public use.
The MoW Programme, managed by UNESCO’s Documentary Heritage Unit, was set up in 1992 to identify documentary heritage of historical and world significance, preserve it, and enhance public access to it.
Do you wish to contribute to the “In Living Memory: Making the Most of Documentary Heritage in COVID-19 Decision-making”? Send us your blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org!
For more information about actions to support media, enhance access to information and leverage digital technologies in the fight against the pandemic, visit: https://en.unesco.org/covid19/communicationinformationresponse.