Memory of the World
International Advisory Committee (IAC)
The IAC is the peak body responsible for advising UNESCO on the planning and implementation of the Programme as a whole. It comprises 14 members serving in a personal capacity, appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO, and chosen for their authority in the field of the safeguarding of documentary heritage. The Director-General convenes the IAC in ordinary session every two years.
To organize its work, the IAC establishes and amends its own Rules of Procedure (these are also kept up to date on the website) and maintains appropriate subsidiary bodies or sub-committees. Functions of the current bodies are described below. It is customary for sub-committee chairs to attend meetings of the IAC in the role of ex officio members.
In particular, the IAC maintains an overview of the policy and strategy of the whole Memory of the World Programme. It therefore monitors the global progress of the Programme, considers reports from its sub-committees, from regional committees and the Secretariat, and in turn advises these bodies on their functions and responsibilities. As necessary, it revises and updates the General Guidelines of Memory of the World and it is responsible for approving additions to, or deletions from, the Memory of the World International Register.
The operation of each sub-committee and regional committee is reviewed at every ordinary session of the IAC, in order to ensure that structures are kept relevant to current needs.
Chair: Dr Abdulla Alraisi (United Arab Emirates)
Members of the IAC (2015/2022)
- Mr Jussi Nuorteva (Finland)
- Ms Maria de la Luz Rodriguez Olivares (Spain)
- Mr Dietrich Schüller (Austria)
- Ms Boriana Hristova (Bulgaria)
- Ms Irena Kriviene (Lithuania)
- Ms Catherine Alice Bloch Gerschel (Mexico)
- Ms Rita Tjien Fooh (Surinam)
- Mr Ramesch Chandra Gaur (India)
- Mr David Fricker (Australia)
- Mr Abdulla Alraisi (United Arab Emirates)
- Ms Dina Youssef (Egypt)
- Mr Jamaâ Baida (Morocco)
- Mr Papa Momar Diop (Senegal)
- Ms Victoria Okojie (Nigeria)
The terms of reference of the subsidiary bodies are set out below. These may be revised at the discretion of the IAC. Subsidiary bodies respond to particular needs at any given time. Details of such bodies will be included on this website as and when they become active within their domains of operation.
The Bureau comprises the chair, three vice-chairs and rapporteur as elected at every ordinary session of the IAC. Its main task is to maintain an overview of the Programme between IAC meetings and make strategic decisions in liaison with the Secretariat. It examines any pending issue referred by the IAC. It regularly reviews the use of the Memory of the World logo, which is one of the most important assets of the Programme and requires careful management. As needed, it liaises with national Memory of the World committees and monitors their growth and operation.
The Preservation Sub-Committee (PSC) comprises a chair appointed by the International Advisory Committee (IAC) or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. It has its origin in the Sub-Committee on Technology, which was established by the IAC in 1995. PERSIST, an initiative established based on the recommendations at the 2012 UNESCO Memory of the World Vancouver Conference, became a permanent, core reportable function within the PSC in 2019.
The PSC is responsible for providing advice to the IAC on matters relating to the selection, preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage in all its forms and its supporting technologies. Its principal task is to develop, regularly revise and promulgate information guides on the preservation of documentary heritage, and to offer advice on technical and preservation matters in response to specific enquiries from institutions or individuals. Similarly, it advises the IAC and the Bureau, as well as regional and national Memory of the World committees, on technical questions as required.
With the addition of PERSIST, the Sub-Committee has an expanded focus to deal with problems related to the vulnerability of digital documents due primarily to technological obsolescence but also the lack of adequate policy frameworks. PERSIST will facilitate the development of effective policies, sustainable technical approaches and best practices in ensuring long term access and use of digital artefacts, by – inter alia – reducing the impact of ageing and unsupported technology and software, and the specificities of long-term preservation of complex digital objects.
Members of the Preservation Sub-Committee:
Experts appointed by UNESCO:
- Ms Lai Tee Phang (Chair), Singapore
- Mr David Fricker, Australia
- Mr Dietrich Schüller, Austria
- Mr Fernando Osorio, Mexico
- Ms Ingrid Parent, Canada
- Mr Jonas Palm, Sweden
- Mr Kevin Bradley, Australia
- Ms Natasa Milic-Frayling, United Kingdom
- Mr Robert Buckley, United Arab Emirates
- Mr Ryder Kouba, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region
The Register Sub-committee comprises a chair appointed by the IAC or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. In liaison with the Secretariat, it oversees the assessment of nominations for the Memory of the World International Register and provides recommendations, with reasons, for their inscription or rejection to each meeting of the IAC. It interprets the selection criteria, and it liaises with NGOs and other bodies or individuals involved in the assessment of nominations. It provides advice, as requested, to regional and national Memory of the World committees in the management of their own registers.
The Register Sub-committee was established in 2001 to investigate nominations, in liaison with the Secretariat, and present recommendations to the IAC whether the nomination should be added to the register or rejected. It also provides advice, on request, to regional and national Memory of the World committees.
Members of the Register Sub-Committee:
- Jan Bos, Président (The Netherlands)
- Joie Springer (Barbados)
- Frédérique Bazzoni (France)
- Joachim Gierlichs (Germany)
- Elyor Karimov (Uzbekistan)
- Roslyn Russell (Australia)
- Lourdes Blanco de Arroyo (Venezuela)
- Rujaya Abhakorn (Thailand)
- Dominique Saintville (France)
The Education and Research Sub-committee comprises a chair appointed by the IAC or Bureau and members chosen for their specialist expertise. It develops strategies and concepts for institutionalizing education and research on documentary heritage and helps developing innovative curricula and research on Memory of the World.
The Sub-Committee on Education and Research (SCEaR) was established in June 2013.
It's mission is twofold:
- work out strategies and concepts for institutionalizing education and research on Memory of the World, its registers and the world documentary heritage in a sustainable manner, as well in institutions of higher learning and in schools,
- help develop innovative curricula and research on Memory of the World and/or on documents, especially in an interdisciplinary and international manner and related to the internet.
Members of the Sub-Committee on Education and Research
Chair: Mr Lothar Jordan
- Rapporteur: Ms Roslyn Russell
- Mr. Martin Porter
- Mr. Papa Momar Diop
- Ms. Luciana Duranti
The Sub-Committee on Education and Research develops and fosters a network of "Cooperating Institutions and Corresponding Members" that contribute to the tasks of the SCEaR. They represent different disciplines and regions as well as different types of memory institutions.
This is one way that the SCEaR endeavours to build partnerships in the academic world, memory institutions and institutes, and with individuals, in all disciplines and knowledge institutions in which documents play a major role in research and teaching – such as history, different historical sub-disciplines, philologies, engineering/ technology, and of course, research and teaching by and for archives, libraries, and museums.
This may be of keen interest especially to those for whom the importance of documents and the relevance of the Internet and other ICTs as major future tools in education and research provide opportunities for interdisciplinarity and international orientation. The growing number of digitization projects is clear evidence of their importance. They open local and national sources and knowledge to the world. This process – common to archives, libraries, museums, universities - requires new strategies for education and research, e.g. new ways of mediating documents to a worldwide audience with its linguistic and cultural diversity.
The SCEaR is building bridges between old and new forms of documents, joining knowledge on paleography and digital heritage under one roof; tertiary education and the institutions of memory; scholarship and the general public (see more under document Information Sheet for Researchers)
SCEaR not only targets the tertiary level of education, but schools as well. Schools and teachers are invited to contact us if they are interested in documents as subjects and means of education: be it documents of the Memory of the World Programme; other documents of interest for the school and school students; documents of international, national, regional or local relevance or of special significance for different communities (see more under document Information Sheet for Schools).
The ScEaR Newsletter is a tool for communicating SCEaR’s endeavours and that of its partners, to work out strategies and concepts for institutionalizing education and research on memory of the World, its registers and the world documentary heritage in a sustainable manner. It also aims at helping in developing innovative curricula and research on memory of the World and documents, especially in an interdisciplinary and international manner. It is also a platform of discussion of new perspectives and aspects that can help improve the programme and can inspire experts in different fields and knowledge to go down new pathways.
- Newsletter 2021/2 (December)
- Newsletter 2021/1 (August)
- Newsletter 2020, Special Issue 1 (September)
- Newsletter 2020/2 (December)
- Newsletter 2020/1 (June)
- Newsletter 2019/2 (December)
- Newsletter 2019/1 (August)
- Newsletter 2016/1 (November)
- Newsletter 2017/1 (March)
- Newsletter 2017/2 (June)
- Newsletter 2017/3 (September)
- Newsletter 2017/4 (December)
- Newsletter 2018 (December)