05.10.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

Seven additions to the Memory of the World Register

© National Centre of Manuscripts - Djrutchi Four Gospels (H-1667), 12-13th cc. The Manuscripts was brought by Ekvtime Taqaishvili from Djruchi monastery (western Georgia)

Seven new documentary collections from Angola, Armenia, France, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, and the USA, have been added to the Register of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.

The new items inscribed are:

First Byurakan Survey (FBS or Markarian survey, Armenia), containing the records of a unique astronomical survey carried out by the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) from 1965-1980. The survey involved the largest ever astronomical study of the nearby universe and is considered one of the most important achievements of 20th century astrophysics.

Bannière Register at Chatelet, Paris, during the reign of François I (National Archives Y9, France). The Bannières series covers the registration and publication of legislative texts, including the 1537 decree by King François I imposing a legal deposit system on booksellers and printers. For the first time printers and booksellers were required to deposit a copy of each of their publications in the King's library. This model spread in the 17th century supporting the growth of national libraries and the preservation of knowledge.

Georgian Byzantine Manuscripts (Georgia), consisting of 1,000 works, some dating to the 5th century AD, kept at the National Center of Manuscripts in Tbilisi. The collection covers different fields and spheres but is particularly rich in ecclesiastic manuscripts.

Aral Sea Archival Fond (Kazakhstan) consists of files from 1965 to 1990 that record the ecological tragedy of the Aral Sea and attempts to fight it. It is a unique fond of information for the study of the Sea of Aral and of how it came to shrink to 10 per cent of its size in the 1960s.

First flight across the South Atlantic Ocean in 1922 (Portugal) contains early reports of Captain Gago Coutinho and Captain Sacadura Cabral’s 1922 flight across the South Atlantic Ocean by floatplane. This milestone in aeronautical history marks the first use of the sextant in air navigation.

Arquivos dos Dembos / Ndembu  Archives (Angola and Portugal), Consisting of some 1,160 manuscript items on a variety of supports from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, the Ndembu archives are uniquely valuable to scholarship in history, anthropology and linguistics. They bear testimony to the transformation of an essentially oral southern African culture, through the assimilation of the Portuguese language and its repercussion on both Portugal and Brazil.

Landsat Program records: Multispectral Scanner (MSS) sensor (USA), a unique body of images at a scale that allows for the observation of the Earth’s land surfaces, coastlines, and reefs and the natural and human-induced changes over nearly 40 years. This record has been obtained and continuously updated by sensors onboard a series of land-imaging satellites that began with the launch of Landsat 1 in 1972.

These collections were approved provisionally by the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme in May 2011 subject to the provision of minor modifications or clarifications for full inscription to proceed. These clarifications have now been endorsed and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has approved the inscription of the new items.

The Memory of the World Register, now numbers a total of 245 documents and documentary collections from all parts of the world. It includes all types of material and support, including stone, celluloid, parchment, audio recordings and more.

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