Memory of the World
In June 2005, inscriptions from Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago were among 29 documentary collections in 24 countries added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, following recommendations made by an international advisory committee meeting in Lijiang (China). The Memory of the World Programme and Register were established to preserve and raise awareness of documentary heritage, the memory of the world, which reflects the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures. The programme was born of the realization that this memory is fragile and that important documentary material is lost every day.
The 'Fondo José Martí Pérez' (Cuba) inscription includes 2,435 documents corresponding to the period of literary, journalistic, revolutionary, diplomatic, biographical and personal work of José Martí (1853-1895), the author and social activist whose influence has had an enduring influence on Latin American culture. Manuscripts by José Martí account for 1,821 titles whereas 415 are documents on Martí or related to him. The collection also includes correspondence, notably with his family. The fonds is kept at the Centro de Estudios Martianos (Martí study centre) in Havana.
The inscription from Trinidad and Tobago concerns the C.L.R. James Collection, which consists of original documents including correspondence, manuscripts, pamphlets, personal and literary papers of the late Cyril Lionel Robert James (1901-1989). James was a leading theoretician of the Trotskyite wing of American communism and the main ideologue and leftist thinker of the nationalist movement in Trinidad and Tobago during its most radical phase from 1958 to 1960. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, C.L.R. James spent much of his life in Britain and the United States. His influence spanned the Caribbean, Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The collection is kept at the University of the West Indies, in Trinidad.
These additions bring to 120 the total number of inscriptions on the Register to date. Earlier additions included collections from Mauritius (Records of the French Occupation of Mauritius) and from Trinidad and Tobago (the Derek Walcott Collection and the Eric Williams Collection).