Documentary heritage reflects the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures. It is the mirror of the world and its memory. But this memory is fragile. Every day, irreplaceable parts of this memory disappear for ever.

The first and most urgent need is to ensure the preservation, by the most appropriate means, of documentary heritage that has world significance. It is also important to make this heritage accessible to as many people as possible, using the most appropriate technology, both inside and outside the countries in which it is located. Therefore UNESCO takes actions aimed at safeguarding documentary and audiovisual heritage.

Open Thematic Debate on “Preservation of information”

3 April 2007 (9.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.), French National Library in Paris (Room of the Belvédère, Tour des Lois)
Organized by the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme (IFAP) within the framework of its 12th session, the Debate will seek to develop a better understanding of what preservation of information entails today, to demonstrate its importance and to discuss the issues raised by the challenges and imperatives of preservation.
>> 12th meeting of the IFAP Bureau

Memory of the World Programme

UNESCO has launched the Memory of the World Programme to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. >> Read more

UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize

In April 2004 UNESCO’s Executive Board approved the establishment of a Memory of the World Prize to further promote the objectives of the Memory of the World Programme and to commemorate the inscription of the Jikji, the oldest known book of movable metal print in the world. >> Read more


More and more of the world's cultural and educational resources are being produced, distributed and accessed in digital form rather than on paper. Born-digital heritage available on-line, including electronic journals, World Wide Web pages or on-line databases, is now part of the world’s cultural heritage. However, digital information is subject to technical obsolescence and physical decay. >> Read more

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