UNESCO is inviting new nominations for its Memory of the World International Register, which lists documentary heritage items of world and historical significance. The deadline is 30 November 2021.
Any person or organization, with the prior written consent of the owners or custodians, may submit nominations through the National Commission for UNESCO or, in the absence of a National Commission, the relevant government body in charge of relations with UNESCO. Nominators are also encouraged to involve national Memory of the World committees where possible. International organizations meeting the criteria set out in the General Guidelines of the Memory of the World Programme may also submit nominations.
Nominations must be submitted before 30 November 2021, and can be submitted in one of three ways:
- via the online platform established to facilitate efficient submission of nominations
- by filling out the International Register nomination form and sending it to the Memory of the World Secretariat by email.
- by filling out the nomination form and sending it to the mailing address below
The General Guidelines of the Memory of the World Programme, which were approved by the UNESCO Executive Board during its 211th session, provide detailed information regarding the selection criteria as well as the nomination process.
What to nominate?
The International Register is composed of documentary heritage that meets the criteria set out in the General Guidelines, among which world significance is the primary criterion. Documentary heritage can include materials from a variety of fields and forms, including visual, audio, paper and digital, among others.
The nominated items of documentary heritage must also be finite and precisely defined; broad, general or open-ended nominations will not be accepted. The Register does not include all the records in public and private archives, no matter how important those bodies or individuals may be. Repositories should nominate for inclusion on the Register only those documents that fulfil the defined criteria, including that of world significance. Once added to the Memory of the World Register, the document group cannot be changed or redefined over time.
In the case of documentary heritage which exists in several locations, or several owners or custodians, full details of each component, owner or custodian are to be provided.
Why nominate an item or collection for the Memory of the World International Register?
- Strategic opportunities arising from the right to use the UNESCO Memory of the World logo.
- Prestige conferred on organizations and collections as a result of UNESCO’s recognition.
- Opportunities for increased public awareness.
- Strengthening arguments for sponsorship, grants, and funding for preservation.
- Being part of the global effort to enhance awareness and support for the preservation of documentary heritage.
Mail, accompanied by an electronic version, addressed to: Fackson Banda, Head, Documentary Heritage Unit (Memory of the World Programme), Communication and Information Sector, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France.
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 is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of, and access to, documentary material.