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Memory of the World

Third Meeting of the International Advisory Committee
Tashkent , 29 September - 1 October 1997



Pending requests and project proposals
August 1997


Slave trade archives in Africa

Institution : National Archives of Angola, Benin, Ghana, Mozambique and Senegal

Project status: Prepared in the context of the "Slave Route" and "Memory of the World" Programmes

Content : Preservation of historical documents and oral tradition on transatlantic slave trade. It aims at providing training, equipment, technical assistance to National Archives and other institutions holding historical records and other slave trade archives relating especially to sites (ports and forts in Africa) with a view to facilitating cooperation among research workers and institutions and enhancing access to the archives.

Budget : $ 377,500 per country

Remarks : Funding for a first phase of the project for a total amount of $ 1,000,000 is being considered by NORAD


Preservation of and access to documentary cultural heritage of Albania

Institution : National Archives - National Library

Project status: Project proposal prepared by PGI, to be submitted to potential funding sources

Content : Conservation/preservation of oldest and most valuable documents; access in computerized form; printing of a catalogue

Budget : US$ 563,000


Safeguarding manuscripts of Antonìn Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana

Institution : Museum of Czech Music, Prague

Project status: Project proposed by the Ministry of Culture, Czech Republic 21 October 1993

Content : Project concerns restoration of some 24,500 autograph sheets by the two composers (13,100 by Smetana and 14,500 by Dvorák) and means of ensuring appropriate access

Budget : $ 180,000

Remarks : A first CD-ROM has been produced in 1995, with funding from the Participation Programme of UNESCO (Participation Programme)


Chinese traditional folk music

Institution : Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts

Project status: Proposed by the National Commission for UNESCO

Content : The Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts has a large collection of sources related to Chinese traditional music and to the music of the national minorities in China. There is in particular a collection of about 40,000 discs and several thousand tapes amounting to 7,000 hours of recordings dating back to the early fifties. The Institute has asked UNESCO to send a consultant to Beijing to advise on measures related to the future preservation and improved access to these rare and fragile holdings.

Budget : US$ 118,178

Remarks : The UNESCO consultant has recommended a series of measures to improve storage conditions (including monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, magnetic stray fields and dust-free areas). Preservation and access copies of original tapes and copies should then be produced as follows : i) two preservation copies on CD-R or R-DAT (to be placed in different locations); ii)one safety copy on quarter-inch tape; iii) one working copy on compact cassette. Some equipment is already available. Required additional equipment needs an investment of about $ 100,000. The Vienna Phonogrammarchiv will provide some of the requested training.


Preservation of Tamil Palm-Leaf Manuscripts

Institution : Institute of Asian Studies, Madras, India

Project status: Project submitted officially by National Commission for funding by Participation Programme

Content : Preservation of around 30,000 Tamil palm-leaf manuscripts on trad. science

Budget : US$ 113,790

Remarks : PP request apparently pending with BRX/PP


The Tibetan Archives

Institution : The Tibetan Autonomous Regional Archives, Lhasa

Project status: Formal request submitted - No budget estimate

Content : Appropriate conservation of some of the most outstanding collections including some 4,000 Sanskrit manuscripts, mostly palm-leaf, containing the original Sanskrit texts of Buddhist literature from the 3rd to the 13th Century. Establishment of a catalogue, microfilming and digitization of manuscripts, critical and fac simile editions and their translation

Budget : A fund-raising campaign is being planned

Remarks : A promotional brochure is being prepared and a fund-raising meeting is planned for 1997


Tibetan Cultural Resources Project - Phase III

Institution : The Orient Foundation, Bath, Avon, United Kingdom

Project status: Project description received. Awaiting official submission by Government of India and/or China or Nepal

Content : Record 12,000 hours of original audio material, create an archive of 18,000 photographs documenting cultural traditions of the Tibetan communities of India and Nepal and develop a universal multimedia access

Budget : ECU 73,500

Remarks : Suggested that assistance be requested under PP. First phases of the Project co-funded by the EC and the Ford Foundation


Vietnam Pictorial Heritage Project

Institution : Vietnam Film Institute

Project status: Interest expressed by SVT Sweden, INA France & National Archive Australia

Content : Setting-up of an Administrative, Technical & Commercial structure to evaluate Vietnam's audio-visual archival collections and assist in their rationalization, preservation, restoration & exploitation. Includes bringing them under a suitable rights regime & making them available for licensing, to pay for whole venture

Budget : -

Remarks : Proposal submitted by J. Abbott, The Image Bank, London. Memorandum of understanding signed by the Director of Vietnam Film Institute & Mr. Abbott.


Preservation of Lao Manuscripts

Institution : Ministry of Information and Culture, Vientiane, Lao PDR

Project status: Project recommended by PGI within framework of World Decade for Cultural Development

Content : Mobile preservation team carrying fieldwork in Buddhist communities with participation of local people

Budget : -

Remarks : Submitted by German Commission for UNESCO, initiated by Prof. Hundius, University of Passau


Preservation of the Card-Index entitled: "The Dictionary of the Archangelskii Region"

Institution : Lomonosov State University of Moscow, Philological Faculty

Project status: Request submitted under the Participation Programme (1994-1995)

Content : Preserve and duplicate the card-index of the Dictionary and its records to promote access to this collection of dialectic words

Budget : $ 62,313

Remarks : First phase carried out in 1995 under the Participation Programme with the transfer of the card file to CD-ROM


Preservation and Effective Use of the Folklore Archives of the Faculty of Philology, Moscow State University

Institution : Lomonosov State University of Moscow, Philological Faculty

Project status: Request submitted under the Participation Programme (1994-1995)

Content : Safeguard folklore archive and provide free access to original texts and records: transfer of recorded folklore material in digitized form to a hard disc (CD-I technology)

Budget : $ 66,313

Remarks : -


Safeguarding of Perso-Tajik and other oriental manuscripts

Institution : The Aini International Foundation, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Project status: Awaiting draft project description

Content : Identify, preserve, study and publish Persian manuscripts

Budget : $ 3,000,000

Remarks : Assistance offered in preparing project document in April 1994, no reply since then


Safeguarding of photographic collections in Latin America and the Caribbean

Institution : IFLA/PAC

Project status: Preliminary proposal prepared by IFLA

Content : Further to a survey on public photographic collections in Latin America and the Caribbean and their state of conservation and further to the organization of a round-table in Rio de Janeiro in November 1996 with specialists in conservation of photographic collections in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Peru and Venezuela, a campaign to safeguard these collections is to be launched. The main stages of this project are: to establish the inventory of these photographs which will be published in the form of a CD-ROM; to catalogue and digitize them; to translate the descriptive and the presentation material in Portuguese, English and French

Budget : $ 100,000

Remarks : A first CD-ROM is being prepared with funding from UNESCO


Paraguay: Creation of a Cultural Centre

Institution : Fundación Ymaguaré de Imágenes y Libros del Paraguay, Asunción

Project status: Awaiting technical details - Preliminary request received from Foundation

Content : Building of Centre, classification of books, security system, elaboration of a conservation & restoration programme, microfilming or scanning of books, national & international access, establishment of auto-financing system

Budget : -

Remarks : Technical details requested on 7/2/95 - Awaiting answer.


Safeguarding of manuscripts of ancient cities in Mauritania

Institution : National Foundation for the Safeguarding of Ancient Cities of Mauritania (FNSVA) and Africa'70 (Italy)

Project status: Request submitted to UNESCO by the Director of the Foundation on 15/01/95. Project examined within the framework of the Division of Cultural Heritage and the Division of the General Information Programme. Project proposal transmitted to BER/CSF to identify potential donors. Proposal being modified to take into account the comments of the Central Technical Unit of the DGCS in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Content : Safeguarding valuable manuscripts of the libraries of Ouadane, Tichitt, Chinguetti and Oualata through digitization to prevent the loss of this historical memory and to enable wide access. To this end, a catalogue of the manuscripts will be published; appropriate equipment and training will be provided to the team working at the Mauritanian Institute of Scientific Research. Bibliographic description and comments on the manuscripts to be translated into French and, if need be, Italian for international distribution.

Budget : £ 466,395,000

Remarks : 2-year project


Safeguarding of manuscripts in Chinguetti, Mauritania

Institution : Personal initiative of Madame Elise LUCET, France 3

Project status: In preparation

Content : Construction of a library adapted to climatic conditions in Chinguetti

Budget : FF 300,000

Remarks : Personal initiative by Ms Lucet in connection with the 300,000 French Francs Rolex Prize. Initiative supported by the French National Commission (letters of 22/2/95 & 2/3/95) Rhône-Poulenc is following up this initiative to safeguard the manuscripts of Chinguetti and enhance access to them


Trade routes in the Sahel and Sahara (XVIth to XIXth centuries)

Institution : Faculty of Philosophy and Human and Social Sciences (CEFRESS), Amiens

Project status: Preliminary proposal submitted to the French National Commission

Content : Field study in the Sahel/Sahara region: interviews with village communities, collection and translation of local manuscripts and oral sources (Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Senegal)

Budget : FF 1,011,000

Remarks : This is more of a research project


Congo - Conservation of the printed press, radio and television archives

Institution : Department of information, documentation and communication, Ministry of Communication, Postal Services and Telecommunications (Congo)

Project status: Letter sent to ICA on 16 April 1994 - Funding approved by IPDC for the purchase of equipment, $ 125,000 (Ref. 352-PRC-11)

Content : Conservation of television archives (16,000 16 mm films, 23,000 3/4 inch cassettes, 3,000 1 inch tapes), radio archives (10,000 tapes and records) and press archives (15,000 fascicles). Training of documentalists, archivists and computer specialists

Budget : No budget estimate


African postcards

Institution : Association "Images et Mémoires"

Project status: Preliminary proposal submitted by Mr Philippe David, October 94

Content : Compiling and publishing an inventory of African postcards, country by country, and reproducing them with a view to their distribution - Three inventories in preparation, for Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal

Budget : 1,000,000 FF

Remarks : Proposal revised in December 1995 - Funding provided by UNESCO for the production of a first CD-ROM in September 1996


General Survey of the Documentary Evidence of the History of Eritrea

Institution : Universita degli Studi di Bologna, Italy

Project status: Project proposal received by CLT/CH in February 1995

Content : Collection and study of entire documentary evidence of ancient and medieval times; Collection of "marginalia" texts concerning land tenure system in precolonial times

Budget : $ 192,000

Remarks : No formal request received from Eritrea


"From Baghdad to Isfahan - Book of Herbs"

Institution : Institute of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg

Project status: In preparation/under discussion

Content : Facsimile and CD-ROM publication of the "Book of Herbs", a pharmacological work translated from the Arabic into Persian and going back, through a Syriac translation, to the Greek original by Dioscorides (first century) entitled "De materia medica". Contains 174 folios and 490 drawings in colour representing herbs, plants and animals

Budget : $ 150,000

Remarks : PROCEED is in contact with a literary agent


Preservation of collection on the History of Slavery, Haiti

Institution : Congrégation du Saint Esprit, Haiti

Project status: Proposal for project implementation being prepared in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, USA

Content : Protection of collection (dating back to 1557) through reproduction, conservation techniques and improved storage environment; provision of access through copies to collections, training in library and preservation skills.

Budget : To be finalized (duration three years)

Remarks : Preparatory activities funded by UNDP


Catalogue of manuscripts and xylographs kept in Mongolian libraries

Institutions :
1. Institute of History of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulanbator
2. Central State Library, Ulanbator
3. Central Asian Institute - University of Bonn

Project status: Project proposal submitted by Central Asian Institute under the World Decade for Cultural Development

Content :
1. description of Mongolian manuscripts and xylographs
2. restoration of Mongolian manuscripts on birch bark
3. philological study of manuscripts, publication in facsimile & latin transcription
4. related training

Budget : No budget estimate received yet

Remarks : No formal request received from Mongolia


Preservation of the written heritage of the Agean Archipelago including the collections of the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Patmos, Greece

Institution : University of the Agean

Project status: Preliminary proposal

Content : - Protection of the written cultural heritage of the Aegean Archipelago;- Establishment of a network for the conservation of the archival heritage of the Aegean Archipelago;- Implementation of a pilot project to safeguard the collections of the Library of the Patmos Monastery (about 20 linear meters dating from the eleventh to the twentieth centuries, 1,015 manuscripts, including 194 with Byzantine bindings, 3,570 early printed books including 11 incunabula, and 7,000 contemporary volumes);

Budget : 1 million ECUs (rough estimate)

Remarks : Detailed project description to be prepared in co-operation with Prof C. Man. Sophoulis Two training workshops organized in 1995 (conservation of photographs, July; codicology and conservation of Byzantine manuscripts, September) by the Interregional Book Conservation Centre (CICL), Arles


Preservation of the Matenadaran collection of ancient manuscripts

Institution : Mashtotz Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, Yerevan (Matenadaran), Armenia

Project status: Request submitted by National Commission under the Participation Programme

Content : The Matenadaran collection of ancient manuscripts is famous all over the world. These manuscripts are of world significance and have undergone difficulties through centuries. The Mashtoz Institute of Ancient Manuscripts is facing an extremely difficult situation. The winter of 1992-1993 was particularly distressing: humidity, cold weather & lack of constant heating have greatly damaged the manuscripts. Technical equipment and training are needed to preserve them, duplicate & make them available to scholars.

Budget : US$ 150,000

Remarks : UNESCO provided a financial contribution to create a computerized catalogue of the collection and to connect the Institute to international networks


The Nahuatl Manuscripts

Institution : Univ. Nacional Autonoma Mexico, Univ. Complutense de Madrid, other institutions

Project status: Preliminary phase of the project carried out within the framework of the World Decade for Cultural Development

Content : Preservation & promotion of the rich documentary heritage of the Nahuatl culture by publication of a CD-ROM featuring some of the most significant collections & aiming at providing an overview of the great wealth, originality and beauty of the documents from this culture. These were a priviledged gift between Kings in Medieval Europe at the time of the "Encounter" between the Indians of the Americas and the Europeans.

Budget : US$ 150,000

Remarks : Nahuatl manuscripts both in the form of pictogrammes and texts written in Roman script exist mainly in Mexico, Central America, USA and Europe


Rescue of the photo laboratory of Shkodra, Albania

Institution : Association Patrimoines Sans Frontières

Project status: UNESCO/PROCEED financed a first fact finding mission

Content : Aims at ensuring restoration, preservation and reproduction of this exceptional collection of nearly 180.000 negatives dating from 1858 to 1950. They can be divided into two categories: portraits and shots (scenes from everyday life, historical testimonies of a country at the centre of eager interests of powerful countries). The aging, of chemical (oxidation, sulphuring) and mechanical (cracks, frilling of gelatin) origin, leads progressively to the vanishing of the image. Digitization of the whole collection could not be considered immediately, only production of a few photo Cds.

Budget : US$ 200,000

Remarks : This project is supported by the Ministries of Culture of Albania and France.


Islamic Manuscripts in Sanliurfa

Institution : Harran University, Turkey

Project status: Project in the planning phase

Content : This project aims at ensuring the protection, restoration, classification and microfilming or digitization of some 300 manuscripts dating from 12th to 18th centuries. The first step should be the appointment of an Arabic-speaking expert from the Faculty of Theology in Harran University to catalogue & classify the manuscripts.

Budget : US$ 25,000 (over 12 months)

Remarks : A request being submitted under the Participation Programme for 1996-1997


Survey of the printed books collections, National and University Library, Ljubljana

Institution : National and University Library in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project status: Project to be submitted under the Participation Programme for 1996-1997

Content : Research project for the design of a preservation plan of the library collections. This survey will indicate which collections suffer most degradation; how the durability of paper depends on the place and time of its making, as well as on its composition, and will enable the Library to set up an effective preservation policy.

Budget : US$ 36,000

Remarks : This survey will be repeated every ten years to assess the speed of degradation and the effectiveness of the preservation policy.


Preservation of Asiatic Manuscripts

Institution : The Asiatic Society, Calcutta, India

Project status: Project submitted under the Participation Programme for 1996-1997

Content : The objective is to preserve valuable manuscripts, paintings, xylographs, inscriptions..., collected by the Asiatic Society all over Asia in the last couple of centuries and provide global access to the world research community. The project involves production of a digital images on a CD-ROM with texts & audio information.

Budget : $ 300,000

Remarks : Project proposed within the framework of the World Decade for Cultural Development


Jewish musical collection (mainly Yiddish) from Eastern Europe in Kiev

Institution : Vernadsky Library, Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, Kiev

Project status: Extraordinary collection of Jewish musical folklore from Eastern Europe, lost since 1949, re-discovered recently at the Vernadsky Library.

Content : Collection holds thousands of sound docs & manuscripts (mainly Jewish songs), some dating back to 1912. Project aims at reproducing on DAT cassettes (Digital Audio-tapes) recordings on cylinders & publishing a catalogue of this musical collection.

Budget : $200,000 ($50,000 raised in Israel for experts travel, $60,000 requested under PP for 96 by Israel, Ukraine & International Council of Music, $90,000 still to be raised).

Remarks : Agreement signed in Summer 95 between Vernadsky Library & Hebrew University of Jerusalem to collaborate to the preservation, restoration and cataloguing of this collection. The project enjoys patronage of the International Council of Music and the support of Yehudi Menuhin and Elie Wiesel. It foresees the collaboration of the Phonogram-Archiv (Academy of Sciences, Vienna) and the Yuval-France Association.


Safeguarding the unique historical audio-visual records of the Radio, Television and Ethiopian Press Enterprise and providing access to them

Institution : Ministry of Information, Ethiopia

Project status: Project proposal to be submitted to potential donors by BER/PSA

Content : Training & provision of equipment to enable the Radio Television and Ethiopian Press Enterprise to record new programmes without destroying unique records of historical, cultural value. Elaboration of a records management system, including setting-up of up-to-date archival services, allowing selection of material for long-term preservation & easy retrieval of records for rediffusion or preparation of new programmes.

Budget : $ 325,000

Remarks : 5-year project.


Safeguarding of old recordings of traditional popular music from Africa, Asia, Latin-America (Karel Capek collection), Prague (Czech Republic)

Institution : Nàpstek Museum of Asiatic, African and American cultures (Prague)

Project status: Request submitted under Participation Programme for 1996-1997

Content : Safeguarding of old valuable recordings of traditional music of African, Asiatic and Latin American cultures, through the transfer of these recordings to new media

Budget : $ 25,780 requested (contribution of Member State: $ 75,000)


Treasures of Dar El Kutub

Institution : The National Library of Egypt (Dar El Kotob) / Regional Information Technology and Software Engineering Center (RITSEC), Cairo

Project status: Project submitted by RITSEC

Content : Development of a series of multimedia CD-ROMs for a selection of precious manuscripts displaying full images along with detailed bibliographic information to enhance access and facilitate research work.

Budget : Initial funding: $ 50,000 requested from UNESCO + $ 40,000 (RITSEC contribution in kind)

Remarks : One-year project - Funds for the first phase provided by UNESCO in September 1996


Sana'a Manuscripts Phase II

Institution : Yemenite Antiquities Organization / RITSEC

Project status: Project submitted by RITSEC

Content : The second phase of the project shall capitalize on the results of the first phase and produce a CD-ROM based on one single significant and rare manuscript, to be chosen by the Yemenite Antiquities Organization, according to its unique contribution to the world heritage.

Budget : $ 50,000 requested from UNESCO + $ 52,000 (RITSEC contribution in kind)

Remarks : One-year project


Establishment of a Preservation and Conservation Network in Mainland Southeast Asia (SEA-PAC)

Institution : Chiang Mai University Library, Thailand

Project status : In the planification stage. Planification and coordination meetings foreseen from June 96 to May 97. Publication of three issues of SEA-PAC Newsletter until April 97.

Content : Establishment of a preservation network of institutions in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam to ensure that palm-leaf and paper manuscripts (many of which are over 500 years old) are kept in proper conditions and provide technical assistance and staff training to existing national and local archives and libraries. To this end, the following activities will be undertaken: coordination of PAC activities, exchange of information on PAC needs, dissemination of information on PAC activities and needs through Internet, fund-raising.

Budget : $ 24,000

Remarks : Project submitted to IFLA and UNESCO


Development of a preservation network in Africa

Institution : IFLA and ICA

Project status : In the planification stage

Content : Establishment of a Joint ICA/IFLA Committee for Preservation in Africa (JICPA) in the different African regions. The principal terms of reference of JICPA will be: identify the needs in the field of preservation; policy formulation and strategic planning; encourage the formation of national commissions; fund-raising; publishing and communicating of preservation issues; holding of three workshops and one expert meeting to discuss curriculum development for preservation education

Budget : $ 145,750

Remarks : This application concerns the first three years' work of the JICPA.


Memory of Belarus

Institution : Presidential Library of the Republic of Belarus

Project status : Project proposal

Content : Preservation, digitization and diffusion of the treasures of the Presidential Library of the Republic of Belarus to make them easily accessible to scholars. The Library has a number of holdings of rare books, especially the first editions of famous authors, published during their lifetime: Goethe, Berchtein, Chlosser, Balzac, Pouchkine. The first edition of the "Confessions" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the treasures of the collection. The Cyrillic incunabula collection, of an incommensurable value, includes works such as: "Le culte de la liturgie divine", "Anphologkion" and "Triodon".

Budget : $ 17,500 for the purchase of computer equipment to digitize rare holdings.

Remarks : Workstations and scanners will be used to create text and image databases on the "Memory of Belarus" rare and precious books. The implementation of the "Memory of Belarus" Programme will offer the Presidential Library the opportunity to exchange information on its rare books holdings with libraries all over the world and to complete its "Belaroussika" with editions on Belarus published elsewhere.


Vidyajyoti Project (Preservation & Conservation of the European Heritage in Libraries and archives in India

Institution : Vidyajyoti Library (New Delhi, India)

Project status : Project proposal

Content : The Library of the College of Vidyajyoti was established in 1879 by Belgian Jesuits, was later transferred to Kurseong and is now in New Delhi. It contains around 110.000 volumes on history, humanities, theology and the Indian Sub-continent, including a remarkable collection of very old books gathered from the first Jesuit missions that settled in South India in 1542 and in North India in 1570. The oldest book is a Leyde edition dating back to 1514 and there are also close to 1500 volumes dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. This project aims to set up at Vidyajyoti a Centre of preservation and conservation of ancient books. The Centre will also provide training to specialists working in Indian libraries with old book collections.

Budget : 795 580 ECUs for three years

Remarks : Also submitted to the European Union in 1997


Preservation of and multimedia access to Arabic manuscripts

Institution : The Regional Information Technology and Software Engineering Center (RITSEC)

Project status : Proposed by RITSEC

Content : There are some 3 million manuscripts of Arabic and Islamic origin, scattered all over the world. They are not properly preserved and researchers find it extremely difficult to gain access to them. This project aims at enabling libraries and universities holding large manuscript collections to develop high quality image banks coupled with descriptive texts, narration and sound, documenting each manuscript. This would allow researchers to have easy access to collections scattered across many countries through CD-ROMs, local networks and the Internet.

Budget : US$ 2,810,000

Remarks : 3-year project


Preservation and Access to the Eric Williams Memorial Collection

Institution : The Main Library. The University of the West Indies, Trinidad

Project status : Preliminary project proposal

Content : This proposal envisages the extension of the research potential of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection by:

- an intensive oral history project to interview associates of the late Eric Williams
- an initiative to obtain originals or copies of significant documents not currently held by the Library
- preservation of and wide access to these documents and oral history by scanning/recording and providing access on suitable web sites

Budget : $ 70,000 approximately

Remarks : 3-year project. No budget provided. This is only a rough estimate of the costs of equipment and activities foreseen


Conservation Unit

Institution : The Mauritius Archives

Project status : Submitted to UNESCO in July 1997

Content : The Conservation Unit will prevent deterioration to the holdings of the Mauritius Archives, while restoring any damage caused to them, to preserve them for public use. The proposal foresees equipment and training in the areas of preventive preservation, reprography, conservation, restoration and binding.

Budget : Rs 1.349.000

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20 August 1997