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The Registers

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Documentary heritage may be listed on more than one register. The World Registers list all documentary heritage of world significance. The Regional and National Registers comprise document heritage of regional and national significance. They are a significant tool to raise awareness for governments, non governmental organizations and members of the public on the significance of their heritage and assist in obtaining funds from governments and sponsors.

The Memory of the World Register lists documentary heritage which has been recommended by the International Advisory Committee, and endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO, as corresponding to the selection criteria regarding world significance and outstanding universal value.

The selection criteria are based on a relative assessment such as:

  • Influence on history
  • Time a contribution to an important period
  • Place a locality which made a crucial contribute to development
  • People and extraordinary discovery
  • Subject/Theme of great significance  
  • Form and style of a particular value  
  • Social value in human history and development


Secondary criteria are:


  • Integrity
  • Rarity