Mapping of Jordan’s Documentary Heritage: Assessing the Current Situation of Documentary Heritage in Jordan and Conditions in Libraries and Archives

Attendees discuss the present situation of documentary heritage in Jordan

UNESCO’s aim to safeguard cultural heritage is laid out in its 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Along with other international instruments that protect cultural heritage, the 2003 Convention seeks to safeguard the representations, uses, expressions, knowledge and techniques that communities, groups and individuals recognize as an integral part of their cultural heritage. This intangible heritage is found in forms such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional craftsmanship knowledge and techniques.

Jordan is steeped in culture and rich heritage. The UNESCO office in Amman works towards accomplishing the organization’s aim of safeguarding intangible heritage in line with particular priorities related to the country’s needs and its specific heritage environment. In this regard, the Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO Office in Amman has produced a mapping of the country’s documentary heritage. As part of the overall project, UNESCO assessed the present situation of documentary heritage in Jordan and conditions of libraries and archives. The mapping report of Jordan’s documentary heritage including recommendations for local government and international partners was formally presented in the context of a launch event in October 2014.

The mapping, which was conducted by a consultant, included consultations with various private and public archivists and collectors (Royal Jordanian Hashemite Documentation Center, the National Library, the Department of Antiquities and private collectors from Circassians, Chechens and Palestinians among others), and came up with a comprehensive assessment. The report is available (English/Arabic) on the UNESCO Amman homepage.

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