Dozens of new collections added to UN’s memory of the world register

By United Nations

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with preserving the world's cultural heritage today endorsed recommendations to inscribe 45 new documents and documentary collections – ranging from Leo Tolstoy's personal manuscripts to the collections of Jean-Jacques Rousseau to the patent issued to Carl Benz for a gas-fuelled engine in 1886 – into a heritage register.

The new entries bring to 238 the total number of items on Memory of the World Register, according to the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“By helping safeguard and share such a varied documentary heritage, UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme reinforces the basis for scholarship and enjoyment of the creative wealth and diversity of human cultures and societies,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, after endorsing the recommendations of an international advisory committee, which met this week in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The Memory of the World Register covers all types of materials, including stone, celluloid, parchment, audio recordings, among others.

Eleven countries have items entered in the register for the first time – Bulgaria, Fiji, Guyana, Ireland, Japan, Mongolia, Morocco, Panama, Suriname, Switzerland and Tunisia.

The inscriptions from countries contributing items for the first time are:

• Bulgaria: Enina Apostolos, Old Bulgarian Cyrillic manuscript (fragment) of the 11th century;

• Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago: Documentary Heritage of the Indian Indentured

• Ireland: Book of Kells;
• Japan: Sakubei Yamamoto Collection;
• Mongolia: Lu “Altan Tobchi” – Golden History written in 1651; Mongolian Tanjur;

• Morocco: Kitab al-ibar, wa diwan al-mobtadae wa al-khabar;

• Switzerland: Les Collections Jean-Jacques Rousseau de Genève et de Neuchâtel ;

• Tunisia: Privateering and the international relations of the Regency of Tunis in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The other newly inscribed items are:
• Austria: Mainz Psalter at the Austrian National Library; Arnold Schönberg Estate;

• Barbados, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, the United Kingdom and the United States: West Indian

Labourers at the Panama Canal;
• Bolivia: Documentary Fonds of Royal Audiencia Court of La Plata (RALP);

• Brazil: Fonds of the Network of information and counter information of the military regime in Brazil;

• China: Ben Cao Gang Mu (Compendium of Materia Medica); Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor's

Inner Canon);
• Czech Republic: Collection of 526 prints of university theses from 1637 to 1754;

• Denmark: MS.GKS 4 2°, vol.I-III, Biblia Latina. Commonly called the Hamburg Bible or the Bible of

• France: Bibliothèque de Beatus Rhenanus ;
• Germany: Construction and Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Two-Plus-Four-Treaty of 1990; Patent DRP 37435 “Vehicle with gas engine operation” submitted by Carl Benz, Mannheim (29 January 1886);

• India: 'Laghukalachakratantrarajatlka' (Vimalprabha); Tarikh-E-Khandan-E-Timuriyah;

• Indonesia and the Netherlands: La Galigo;
• Iran: A Collection of Nezami's Khamseh Al-Tafhim li Awa'il Sana'at al-Tanjim (The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology);

• Italy: Lucca's Historical Diocesan Archives (ASDLU): Early Middle Ages documents;

• Republic of Korea: Human Rights Documentary Heritage 1980 Archives for the May 18th Democratic Uprising against Military Regime, in Gwangju; Ilseongnok: the Records of Daily Reflections;

• Mexico: 16th and 18th century pictographs from the record group “Maps, drawings and illustrations”;

• Netherlands: Desmet Collection; • Netherlands, Brazil, Ghana, Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, United Kingdom, United States: Dutch West India Company (Westindische Compagnie) Archives;

• Netherlands, Curacao and Suriname: Archive Middelburgsche Commercie Compagnie (MCC);

• Norway: Thor Heyerdahl Archives;
• Philippines: Presidential Papers of Manuel L. Quezon;

• Poland: Archive of Warsaw Reconstruction Office;
• Russia: Ostromir Gospel (1056-1057), Leo Tolstoy's Personal Library and Manuscripts, Photo and Film Collection;

• Saint Kitts and Nevis: Registry of Slaves of Bermuda 1821 -1834 (an addendum to Slaves of the British Caribbean 1817- 1834, inscribed in 2009);

• Sweden: Stockholm City Planning Committee Archives, Codex Argenteus – the Silver Bible;

• Thailand: The Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho;
• Trinidad and Tobago: The Constantine Collection;
• United Kingdom: Historic Ethnographic Recordings (1898-1951) at the British Library;

• Viet Nam: Stone Stele Records of Royal Examinations of the Le and Mac Dynasties (1442-1779).

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to maintain the memory of the items by preserving the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination.