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UNESCO Memory of the World Project in Myanmar Begins

The ‘Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage of Myanmar through the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme’ project has begun with a high level coordination meeting in Yangon on the 25th of November 2016.

A glass plate negative photograph, circa 1920, from the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs’ archive. The image shows Buddha statues from the Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments. Just one example of the rich documentary heritage of Myanmar.

The meeting brought together representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, the National Archive, the National Library, the Film Archive, the National Directorate of Historic Research, Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation, and the Myanmar National Commission for UNESCO. The object of the meeting was to coordinate and discuss the implementation of the project, as well take the preliminary steps to establish the inaugural Myanmar Memory of the World Committee.

The project will be completed will Myanmar over 2017 and will include a series of national level training workshops on developing nominations to the Memory of the World registers, a national survey of documentary heritage, as well as a publication and accompanying exhibition on the country's rich documentary heritage.

It is expected that this will support in the development of the Myanmar MoW Committee and complement ongoing efforts to safeguard and increase access to documentary heritage in the country. Ultimately the capacity building training will directly benefit librarians, archivists and curators in their work safeguarding and providing access to documentary heritage in their country.

Dr. Nanda Hmum, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, who participated in the meeting, said: “Myanmar welcomes the project to support the preservation of our documentary heritage. Already Myanmar has three inscriptions on the International Memory of the World Register, and one on the Regional Memory of the World Register. With the support of UNESCO through this project, we hope to further increase awareness and access to the documentary heritage of our country."

The project activities in Myanmar are part of the overall  "Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage of LDCs and SIDS in Southeast Asia through the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme" project, generously funded by the Government of Malaysia via the Malaysia Funds-in-Trust (MFIT) under the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP).