Memory of the World


UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. Impetus came originally from a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world.War and social upheaval, as well as severe lack of resources, have worsened problems which have existed for centuries. Significant collections worldwide have suffered a variety of fates. Looting and dispersal, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate housing and funding have all played a part. Much as vanished forever; much is endangered. Happily, missing documentary heritage is sometimes rediscovered. 

The Pacific is one region with diverse cultures and intriguing stories of their past. These stories include their early settlements, their literacy and oral traditions, even stories of colonialism and foreigners and their influence that changed their native settlements, cultures and traditions. Evidence of these stories are of high value. The Memory of the World provides any Pacific country with an avenue to keep safe these evidence and for other generations to access and cherish.

The Pacific countries and their heritage is underpresented on the Memory of the World Register. It is a important then to work with the member states to increase their participation and visibility in the MOW Registrar.

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