UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form (2015) 

UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form (2015) 

At the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2015, 195 countries voted unanimously in favor of the introduction of a new UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form.

Arranged by five thematic areas - namely (1) Identification of documentary heritage, (2) Preservation of documentary heritage, (3) Access to documentary heritage, (4) Policy measures and (5) National and international cooperation), the Recommendation addresses both the technical and strategic issues that arise in the preservation and use of documentary heritage. It provides practical and actionable recommendations that can be used by governments, memory institutions, the private sector, professional associations, academia and others organizations and individuals operating in the area of documentary heritage.

The Recommendation is available in the following languages:

The brochure of the Recommendation is available here.

In May 2017, a first regional consultation on the implementation of the Recommendation resulted in the adoption of the UNESCO-ASEAN Member States Action Plan for the Implementation of the Recommendation. ASEAN Member States, museums, archives and libraries have raised that one of the main challenges in the region for safeguarding documentary heritage is the lack of awareness amongst policy-makers and the public on the significance of documentary heritage.

In August 2017, the regional seminar on strengthening cooperation for the preservation and access to documentary heritage held in Tehran resulted in the adoption of the Regional Cooperation Plan for the Implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Documentary Heritage in Western and Central Asia. Delegates from Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan participated in the meeting and raised the challenges of accessing to documentary heritage located outside the countries or owned by the private. The regional cooperation plan put the emphasis on capacity-building and identification of documentary heritage for joint nominations.

In September 2017, the regional workshop held in Fiji in conjunction with the Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council of Archives biennial meeting resulted in the development of the Pacific Member States Action Plan for the Implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Documentary Heritage. Delegates from Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu attended the workshop and helped to develop the plan of action.