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 Memory of the World Programme aims to:

  • Facilitate preservation of the world's documentary heritage, particularly in areas affected by conflict and/or natural disaster
  • Enable universal access to documentary heritage worldwide
  • Enhance public awareness about the significant of documentary heritage among the wider public
Call for nominations for the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register: 2024-2025 nomination cycle
64 new inscriptions on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register
3rd Memory of the World Global Policy Forum

21 - 22 November 2022, Tokyo, Japan.

Preserving Documentary Heritage in AlUla
UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize
UNESCO launches e-course on incorporating documentary heritage in teaching
Make use of the Memory of the World e-calendar for children

Our Stories

Central America and Africa protect documentary heritage from disaster
Turkmenistan embarked on a path to preserve documentary heritage

Facts and Figures

Memory of the World inscriptions

on the International Register since 1995

Unesco Memory of the World - Why Documentary Heritage Matters

In this animation film the Memory of the World Committee of the Netherlands shows the importance of documentary heritage and the rationale behind Unesco's Memory of the World Programme.

The film was created by Studio Noord ( | CC BY-NC-ND). It was commissioned by the Memory of the World Commitee of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Commission for Unesco. Images have been used of documents that have a Memory of the World designation. The Netherlands MoW Committee wishes to thank the affiliated institutions for making these images available for this film.

UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize

UNESCO created the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize in 2004 to promote the preservation of documentary heritage as a common heritage of humanity and to encourage its wide accessibility. The UNESCO/Jikji Prize is named after the Buljo jikji simche yojeol, the oldest existing book of movable metal print in the world, on the Memory of the World Register. The prize is awarded to individuals, institutions, or non-governmental organizations that have made a significant contribution to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage.

Memory of the World 2022 Interactive Calendar for Children

For the World Children's Day, UNESCO teamed up with Barbanera offering children an amazing adventure around the globe to discover the 'Memory of the World'. The e-calendar is based on 12 items from the Memory of the World (MoW) International Register, which consists of important historical materials from around the globe. Each month Nala and Leo, two young characters, take their fellow children to a different part of the world, where they discover a local treasure and learn about what it signifies as part of the world’s collective history. Libraries, archives, museums as well as primary and middle schools can use the e-calendar to promote active learning about cultural heritage, thereby promoting intercultural dialogue and global citizenship among children. The e-calendar is available in English, Indonesian, Spanish, Italian and Swahili, as well as accessible via computer, tablet and as an application (Apple and Android).

Our Publications

What will the world remember?: UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme in South Asia
UNESCO New Delhi
Managing low-cost digitization projects in least developed countries and small island developing states: a manual
Towards sustainable preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage
Audiovisual archiving: philosophy and principles
UNESCO Office Bangkok

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