UNESCO Memory of the World Program
The official name of the World Documentary Heritage Program, which is designed to protect humankind's diverse memories and share them with the world, is 'Memory of the World (MoW)'. We have developed civilization via the wisdom and records accumulated by our ancestors through trial and error, and the collective memory of humankind has played a key role in preserving cultural identity, connecting the past and present, and shaping the future.
Since 1995, UNESCO has begun the cataloging of Memory of the World, in order to designate and preserve endangered records and collections to minimize the loss of documentary heritage around the world. There are three main objectives of the project: the proper preservation and accessibility of the world's important documentary heritage and the promotion of global awareness of the importance of documentary heritage.
The emblem, a symbol of Memory of the World, indicates that the history of humankind began to be recorded when the parchment and papyrus paper were invented, thus this became the basis of the emblem. At the same time, the scroll form refers to copyright and is a representation of the Earth, gramophone, scroll film, and disc.
The MoW project consists of selecting and listing globally valuable documentary heritages through International Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting every two years. In Memory of the World Project, documentary heritage refers to the information that contains a record and the medium through which it is delivered (UNESCO, 2002). It also consists of a document or a number of logically related documents, where a document can be defined as a signature, handwriting, a photograph or film-like image and a movable, preservable, and reproducible material.
The MoW project, based on the general guidelines for the protection of documentary heritage, covers the principles of preservation and usage, standards and preparations for the registration, structure and management of the project, financing and marketing. The list is divided into three categories: the global list, the regional list, and the national list. A single heritage may be listed in more than one criterion. To be registered as a documentary heritage, it must be authentic, original and irreplaceable, of global value, accurate and genuine in nature and origin, and of significant importance to a particular age and region and, if damaged, can cause serious loss to humanity.
- Global list: Recommended for selection of documentary heritage of global value through IAC meetings.
- Regional list: Selected by regional committees from such as Asia Pacific, African Regional Committee, Latin America and Caribbean Regional Committee.
- List of countries: Each member country links with regional committees such as identification, listing, preservation and activities of individual countries' documentary heritage.
How to register for MoW
Not only countries but also individuals and organizations can register for MoW once every two years up to two applications. It may be removed from the list if the preservation status of the registered documentary heritage is fatal or if new facts are found that do not meet the registration criteria.
MoW Listing Standard
|Main Standard||Authenticity||It must be an authentic product of the nature and origin of the heritage.|
|It has a great influence on a certain age and region, and if it is lost or damaged, it is important enough to cause serious loss to humankind.|