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Safeguarding Myanmar’s rich documentary heritage aim of year-long ‘Memory of the World’ project

Safeguarding Myanmar’s rich documentary heritage aim of year-long ‘Memory of the World’ project

(မြန်မာစာသားကိုဒီနေရာကိုနှိပ်ပါ - Click here for Myanmar text)

Project to launch with MoW national level training workshop in Yangon from 4-5 May

Myanmar’s documentary heritage is rich and diverse, ranging from ancient texts carved in stone and palm leaf manuscripts to cinema and audio-visual materials. As a developing nation, however, Myanmar faces major challenges in safeguarding this heritage and making it accessible to all.

UNESCO will kick off a year-long effort to address these challenges with a national level Memory of the World (MoW) training workshop from 4-5 May 2017. The workshop will be followed by subsequent capacity building and research activities throughout 2017, culminating in an exhibition on Myanmar’s documentary heritage at year’s end.

WHAT: 1st National Memory of the World Workshop, Myanmar.

The workshop will focus on increasing participants’ knowledge of and skills related to the MoW programme, particularly developing nominations to MoW registers and how the programme can bolster efforts to safeguard Myanmar’s documentary heritage. The training will be highly interactive and participants will be invited to begin identifying significant documentary heritage in their respective collections that could be part of a future national, regional or international MoW nomination.

WHEN: 4-5 May, 2017

WHERE: Yangon

WHO: The workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Ray Edmondson, an international expert in the MoW programme, and Andrew Henderson, consultant with the UNESCO Bangkok office.  It is designed for those in any field relating to documentary heritage in Myanmar including archives, libraries, museums, government, non-government etc. The following agencies/organizations will be invited to the workshop:

  • Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Yangon,
  • Bagan and Nay Pyi Taw branches
  • Myanmar National Commission for UNESCO
  • Ministry of Education
  • Film Archive, Ministry of Information, Yangon
  • MRTV, Ministry of Information
  • NGO Save Myanmar Film project
  • National Archives, Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw Offices
  • National Library of Myanmar, Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw Offices
  • Universities Central Library
  • University of Yangon
  • Myanmar Historical Commission
  • NGO Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation
  • Lu Htu Library, Mandalay



Myanmar and MoW

The Memory of the World (MoW) programme aims to increase awareness worldwide of the existence and significance of documentary heritage, facilitate its preservation using the most appropriate techniques, and promote universal access.

UNESCO first introduced the programme in Myanmar in a 2011 training workshop for local stakeholders. That training resulted in Myanmar’s first submission to the MoW register, the “Maha Lawkamarazein or Kuthodaw Inscription Shrines” in 2013.

Following the nomination’s success, Myanmar authorities expressed keen interest in the MoW programme; however, in a 2016 stakeholder meeting, they noted the strong need for more technical assistance in MoW, especially in developing a national committee for future nominations.

Safeguarding and Spotlighting

The current project responds to these needs. UNESCO will work with stakeholders in Myanmar to support the preservation and access to the country’s documentary heritage through the “Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Southeast Asia through the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme” project.

The project has four phases:

  1. Workshop in Myanmar on the MoW Programme (4-5 May 2017)
  2. National study of significant documentary heritage in Myanmar (May-July 2017)
  3. 2nd workshop on the Workshop on the Memory of the World (October 2017)
  4. Exhibition and publication of the significant documentary heritage of Myanmar (November 2017).

This project is possible through the generous support from the Government of Malaysia via the Malaysia Funds-in-Trust (MFIT) under the Malaysia - UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP).

For media queries, please contact, UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer, Noel Boivin: n.boivin@unesco.org