Jens Boel UNESCO Presentation

UNESCO and Archives at Risk:
Safeguarding Documentary Heritage
The Right to Know, the Right to History
• Milan Kundera (in The Book of Laughter and
Forgetting, 1981): 'the first step in liquidating
a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its
books, its culture, its history'.
UNESCO’s Constitution
• Maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge:
By assuring the conservation and protection of
the world’s inheritance of books, works of art
and monuments of history and science, and
recommending to the nations concerned the
necessary international conventions;
AG 1
Institute of
Archive Group AG 3 - Preparatory Commission
The Activities
Sources to the History of Nations
Technical expert missions
Capacity-building, including archival schools
Facilitating reflections on restitution of
archives (decolonization process)
• Microfilm-projects – in particular in Latin
The Activities continued…
RAMP-studies – reference documents
Databases and portals (CDS-ISIS)
Memory of the World – 1992 onwards
Access to Memory (ICA-AtoM) and Archivematica
UNESCO Endorsement of the Universal
Declaration on Archives in 2011
• Digital Memory of the World 2012 – Vancouver
• PERSIST: UNESCO Digital Strategy for Information
Sustainability – development of a digital roadmap
UNESCO Cultural Heritage Conventions
• Protecting Cultural Property in the Event of Armed
Conflict (The Hague Convention, 1954, and later
• Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and
Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of
Ownership of Cultural Property (1970)
• Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
• UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported
Cultural Objects (1995)
• Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural
Heritage (2003)
2015 Symposium: The Idea
• International Symposium: ‘Safeguarding
Documentary Heritage in Danger’
• Forum for discussion – compare, review, analyze
and discuss concepts, strategies and practices
• Tentatively planned 19-20 Feb 2015, 30-40
participants with diverse heritage preservation
• Looking at the whole ‘disaster cycle’, before,
during and after a conflict
2015 Symposium: Expected Outcomes
• Better understanding of concepts and issues
• Analyze and share experiences and existing programs
and strategies
• Emergency Action Plan for Safeguarding Endangered
Documentary Heritage
• Development of guidelines on safeguarding
documentary heritage and risk management (including
contingency plans)
• Publication and dissemination of guidelines
• Conventions : Signed and respected
• Strengthening of MoW committee network
Thank you !!!
Jens Boel
[email protected]

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