30.09.2011 - UNESCO

New nominations to Latin American Memory of the World Register to be discussed in Montevideo

Mura Indian inhaling paricá, part of Philosophical Voyage collection - © National Library of Brazil

UNESCO and the National Archives of Uruguay are jointly organizing the 12th Meeting of the Memory of the World Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (MOWLAC), which will take place from 4 to the 6 October 2011 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Experts in preservation of documentary heritage from different parts of Latin America and the Caribbean will gather together in order to discuss the growth of the Memory of the World Programme in the region and evaluate new nominations that have recently been submitted for the inscription on the Regional Register.

This year’s nominations are from Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, Perú and Uruguay, and all take into account the critical significance of the proposed documentary heritage in terms of the region´s history and culture. They include:

  • Registry of Birth and Death of Slaves, 1840-1863, submitted by Aruba;
  • Philosophical Voyage, concerning the scientific expedition of Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira to Grao-Para, Mato Grosso, Rio Negro and Cuiabá in 1783-1792, submitted by Brazil;
  • Library of Colonel Pineda, distinguised bibliophile who compiled 1,145 volumes with more than seven thousand documents, many of them unique, which mirror everyday life in 19th century Colombia, submitted by Colombia;
  • Peruvian Incunabula from the XVI to the XVII Century, submitted by Peru;
  • Original Acts of the Third Council of Lima, 1582-1583, submitted by Peru;
  • Cartulary Book or The Travelling Protocol of the Conquistadors, comprising the first public decrees made during the early Conquest of Tahuantinsuyo, 1533-1542, submitted by Peru; and
  • Archives of José Luis Massera (1915-2002), a renowned Uruguayan mathematian and Latin American intellectual, submitted by Uruguay.

The 12th MOWLAC meeting will also examine reports on the work of National Committes, currently existing in 18 countries of the region, and develop strategies for incorporating additional countries that have yet to form their own committee and to learn how to launch National Memory of the World Registers.

Eleven years after its creation, MOWLAC launches a revamped version of its website (http://mowlac.org). Maintenance, editorial quality and updating of this new online tool, as well as resources necessary to ensure its continuity, are other important issues on the agenda.

MOWLAC was founded in 2000 in order to support concerns for preservation and access to significant documentary heritage, and to create the Regional Register. The Regional Committee currently comprises nine specialists, who have been designated because of their professional and personal merits and involvement in documentary heritage in the fields of library, archives and preservation. According to the MOWLAC statutes, the Committee members serve during a period of four years and are susbtituted by experts of equal distinction. This arrangement allows for periodic renovation and participation of all countries in the region.

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