26.09.2016 - UNESCO Office in Hanoi

Phuc Giang School woodblocks listed in the Memory of the World Asia - Pacific Regional Register

©Tran Giang Nam, Ha Tinh Newspaper

Ha Tinh, 25 September 2016 - The woodblocks of Phuc Giang School, in the central province of Ha Tinh are registered as Documentary Heritage by the Memory of the World Committee in Asia-Pacific (MOWCAP) for its importance and influence on national education from the middle of the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

The practices and values on the acquisition of education, knowledge and wisdom have been protected and entrusted by the Nguyen Huy family members who took time and effort to compile and put in writing a selection of books for learning and teaching which are now registered in MOWCAP.

The 379 original woodblocks, the unique collection of its kind in Viet Nam, produced manually by Nguyen Huy family members from 1758 to 1788, contain knowledge reflecting various values concerning history, politics, culture, education, economy, society, ideology and interaction among different families. Each individual woodblock is a unique work of art, aesthetically elaborate containing beautiful calligraphic styles. The woodblocks are also inscribed with the handwritings of five scholars, writers and poets belonging to three generations of the Nguyen Huy family, a testament to this laudable tradition of learning.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia of relevant historical moments and to raise awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world. The Memory of the World Register consists all types of historical materials, including stone, wood, celluloid, parchment, audio recordings and many more.

By helping to safeguard and share such a varied documentary heritage, UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme serves as a tool for learning and for understanding the diversity of human cultures and societies. Documentary Heritage prioritizes learning, and education as an imperative requisite for sustainable development and the reinforcement of national cultural identities.

At the ceremony to celebrate the designation of the Documentary Heritage in Ha Tinh City, Ms. Susan Vize, Head and Representative of the UNESCO Office in Viet Nam expressed her admiration for the tremendous value held within the woodblocks and congratulated Viet Nam for the recognition and protection of its unique heritage. Ms. Vize further stated that “by inscribing Phuc Giang School Woodblocks in the Memory of the World Register of Asia-Pacific, UNESCO also acknowledges Viet Nam's efforts to preserve and promote heritages and to share these with the international community. This recognition also helps raise awareness of the importance of heritage preservation.”

H.E. Ambassador Phạm Sanh Chau, Secretary-General of the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO, emphasized that this treasured heritage is one that confirms Viet Nam’s high value and respect of academic traditions and especially that of the Ha Tinh community. H.E. Ambassador Phạm Sanh Chau also recognized and appreciated the efforts of the Provincial authority, involved organizations as well as that of the Nguyen Huy family.

UNESCO’s vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities and should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.


To find out more about the Phuc Giang School woodblocks please click here or contact Ms. Hoang Minh Nguyet, Communication and Information Programme Coordinator, at hm.nguyet(at)unesco.org

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