‘Memory of the world’ is a UNESCO programme aiming at preservation and dissemination of valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide. The archives are the preservations of our past and the library collections are reflections of our present. The most valuable legacy any civilisation can leave behind, to be found later by its own descendents or some remote civilisation in future, is the written or drawn records of itself. This project is an attempt of contemporary earthlings at that. UNESCO has launched this programme to guard the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world against collective amnesia.
As the article by Judith H. Dobrzynski in the Smithsonian Magazine mentions, the compilation began in 1992 and currently includes 158 items such as manuscripts, maps, films, textiles, sound files and other historical documents and artefacts. The register is expanded every odd-numbered year and each UNESCO member (currently 193) can make up to 2 nominations.The UNESCO website for the program gives the details such as its objective and the national and international committees etc. However, at this time the program is not as well known as the UNESCO would like it to be and efforts are on to spread the word around. This would get more people to nominate more documents and artefacts making the register as substantial as possible. By writing this blog post I’m doing my bit in spreading the word about this project to preserve the intellectual, cultural and social properties of our civilisation.