Memory of the World Programme (MoW): Preservation of documentary heritage


Created in 1992, the Memory of the World Programme (MoW) is a UNESCO initiative aimed at preserving the documentary heritage of the world – housed in libraries, archives and museums – as a symbol of the collective memory of humanity. This heritage reflects the diversity of the people, cultures and languages; it belongs to everyone and must be fully preserved, protected permanently and be easily accessible.

Documentary heritage faces grave threats: ransacking and dispersion, illegal sale, destruction, as well as the fragile particularity of its support, the obsolescence of storage and the lack of financing. According to the foundations upon which the Programme was created, this situation is causing a large amount of documentary heritage to ultimately disappear or become endangered.

Institutionally, the Memory of the World Programme is international and has a Central Secretariat, an International Consultation Committee, Regional and National Committees, in addition to a vast network of associates in governmental, professional and entrepreneurial sectors.



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