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20 documentary collections from Asia and the Pacific newly inscribed to UNESCO’s Memory of the World International Register

20 documentary collections from Asia and the Pacific newly inscribed to UNESCO’s Memory of the World International Register

Bangkok, 26 May – On 24 May 2023 UNESCO announced 64 new inscriptions on its Memory of the World Register, 20 of which originate in Asia and the Pacific. This year’s new inscriptions bring UNESCO’s global list to 494 collections, 119 of which originate in Asia and the Pacific.

The successful nominations from Asia-Pacific celebrate traditional science and technology, women, peace and international relations, indigeneity and multilingualism, poetry and oral literature, and spiritual and religious diversity.

New Inscriptions from Asia and the Pacific

  1. China: The four treatises of Tibetan Medicine, which not only represents the highest level of medical care in Tibet in ancient times, but also reflects the study of humanities, history, tradition, literature, art, and craft in earlier period of Tibet.
  2. China (Macao Special Administrative Region): Archives and Manuscripts of Macau Kong Tac Lam Temple (1645–1980), which document social changes and reforms, especially in the liberation of and raise of the social status of women.
  3. Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea: Hon Chon Jon Do (Complete illustration of the Astronomical Chart), an astronomical chart describing the celestial sphere with the arctic projection.
  4. India and Indonesia (joint nomination with Algeria, Egypt, and Serbia): First Summit Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Archives, a collection of textual archives, photographs, and audiovisual archives documenting the exchange of ideas to contribute more effectively to world peace, security and peaceful cooperation.
  5. India: Abhinavagupta (940–1015 CE): Collection of Manuscripts of the 10th century Indian thinker in the domain of philosophy, aesthetics, literary theory, performative art, music, tantra, yoga, and devotion work.
  6. Indonesia: Sukarnos Speech: To Build the World Anew’, 30 September 30 1960, delivered at the 15th General Assembly of the United Nations on 30 September 1960, in New York, United States, sharing his conceptual thinking about peaceful coexistence.
  7. Indonesia (joint nomination with the Netherlands): The Hikayat Aceh – Three manuscripts on life in Aceh, Indonesia, in the 16th through 17th centuries, an indigenous history of the former sultanate of Aceh.
  8. International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA): The Gramophone Discs and Papers of the EMI Archive Trust, 1897–1914, which offers a substantial record of the worlds first reflection of itself in recorded sound from throughout Western and Central Europe, the Arab States, Asia and Eastern Europe.
  9. Iran (Islamic Republic of): Documents on Irans International Relations Under the Qajar Rule (1807–1925), a collection comprising documents that reflect part of the history of international relations and political geography of the modern world.
  10. Iran (Islamic Republic of): Documents of the Shaykh Safī-al-Dīn Ardabīlī Shrine (952–1926 CE), written in a wide variety of languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Mongolian, Persian and,Uyghur Turkic, and documenting the broader Persianate world stretching from China to Anatolia, and from the steppes of South Russia to India.
  11. Iran (Islamic Republic of) and Uzbekistan (joint nomination with Bulgaria, Germany, Tajikistan and Türkiye): Mawlanas Kulliyat (The Complete Works of Mawlana), a 13th century poet, philosopher, scholar, and theologian considered one of the greatest Sufi masters of all times.
  12. Japan: The Monk Enchin Archives: A History of Japan–China Cultural Exchange representing a wealth of historical documentation from Japan and China on the history of religion.
  13. Kyrgyzstan: Manuscript of the Kyrgyz epic ‘Manas’ by the narrator Sagymbay Orozbakov, traditionally delivered by oral recitation and recognized as the national pride, identity and historical memory of the Kyrgyz people.
  14. Malaysia: Misa Melayu MSS 6, a narrative account of the history of the ceremonial rules of the Perak Sultanate.
  15. Mongolia: Stone Inscriptions of Tsogtu Khung-Taiji, Prince of Khalkha, regarded as one of the most iconic and important symbols of Mongolian script and literature.
  16. Republic of Korea: Archives of the April 19 Revolution, an extensive collection of documentary materials about the student-initiated, pro-democracy movement that erupted in the spring of 1960 in the Republic of Korea.
  17. Republic of Korea: Archives of the Donghak Peasant Revolution, a collection documenting a popular uprising against corruption in the ruling class and the demand for a more just and equal society.
  18. Sri Lanka: Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka (covering the period 6th century BCE to 1815 CE), one of the world's longest unbroken historical accounts presenting Sri Lankas history, which played a significant role in popularizing Buddhism in South-East Asia.
  19. Thailand: National Collection of Palm-Leaf Manuscripts of Phra That Phanom Chronicle, narrating the tale of the Buddha’s breastbones brought from India for enshrinement at Phrathat Phanom, which is widely recognized as a sacred Buddhist centre in the Mekong region.
  20. Uzbekistan: The Qushbegi Chancellery of the Bukhara Emirate, the largest archives of Central Asian rulers in Bukhara, reflecting more than 200 years of historical events in the modern-day territories of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and part of Afghanistan.

The announcement of new inscriptions, including one from Mongolia, coincided with a Memory the World workshop held in Ulaanbaatar from 24 through 25 May, co-organized by the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Bangkok, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Mongolia.

The Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific is currently accepting nominations to the regional register until 15 September 2023.


For more information on new 2023 inscriptions, please visit: https://www.unesco.org/en/memory-world/register2023