26.10.2018 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Using inspiring stories to advocate for documentary heritage in Southeast Asia

©UNESCO Jakarta

Archivists, librarians, and curators from memory institutions around Southeast Asia gathered in Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia to discuss the best ways to use archival materials for advocacy and to promote documentary heritage preservation.

The Director-General of National Archives of Malaysia (NAM), Datuk Azemi Bin Abdul Aziz who opened the event noted that as memory institutions they have to inform people and society of the value of “archival and heritage materials which can be used to share stories binding people on a common humanity.”

“We should use inspiring stories from people who had dedicated their career to preserving documentary heritage to inspire society especially the younger generation on the importance of the archival material,” said Dr. Ming-Kuok LIM who is the Advisor for Communication and Information for UNESCO Office in Jakarta.  In his keynote speech, Dr. Lim used the examples of the recent Malian NGO SAVAMA-DCI which was honoured with the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize who for their courageous work in safeguarding ancient manuscripts from destruction due to the terrorist insurgency in Timbuktu.

Representatives from national archives of all ten ASEAN countries attended the conference which focused on the theme of “Archival Advocacy in Southeast Asia: Heritage and Inspiration”. The event was hosted by National Archives of Malaysia for the Southeast Asia Regional Branch of the International Council of Archives (SARBICA). It also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of SARBICA.

Recently, UNESCO supported a technical visit from NAM to Timor-Leste to provide recommendations to further develop archival management in the country as part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme to preserve and provide access to documentary heritage around the world.

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