Posts Tagged UNESCO
At last month’s conference, “Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation”, a declaration was adopted addressing the challenge of digital amnesia. The four page document, made available on UNESCO’s website last week, is an extension of a principle in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is, each individual should be guaranteed access to information, including in digital format, and that national policies should be established to promote the right to information, open government and open data.
Also highlighted during the conference and its consequent declaration was the growing importance of industry in digitization and digital preservation among trusted digital repositories. The conference declaration adopted a call on industry to ensure long-term accessibility to trustworthy information contained in legacy formats. It further encouraged professional associations work with industry for the development of requirements of systems that embed preservation concern and assist in the development of a cohesive and practical vision of the way forward in addressing the management and preservation of trustworthy recorded information in all its forms in the digital environment.
To raise awareness of the profession, the International Council on Archives (ICA) is enlisting the support of the public to promote Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) by signing the UDA online register. The UDA has been endorsed by the ICA as a key pillar of its outreach and advocacy policy and strategy. Followers and supporters may also share the link to further publicize the Declaration.
The UDA was adopted in principle in 2009 at the ICA Annual General Meeting in Malta. It was developed by a special working group of the ICA, the SPA (Section of Professional Associations), based on the model of the “Déclaration québécoise des Archives“. On 17 September 2010, the ICA unanimously approved the text of the UDA at their Annual General Meeting held in Oslo. On 10th November 2011, the UDA was officially endorsed by UNESCO and adopted by the 36th plenary session of the General Conference of UNESCO .
The Declaration concisely outlines the unique characteristics of archives and the management requirements to provide ongoing records access. It has been conceived as a basis for advocacy and promotion to support archives and the profession, and addresses a wide public. Available in 25 languages, it is a statement of the relevance of archives in modern society and marks an important step in improving understanding and awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program, UNESCO, in collaboration with the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and the University Library of the University of British Columbia (UBC), is holding an international conference on “The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation” on September 26-28, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This event is also being held in partnership with ICA, IFLA, IASA, ICOM, WIPO, Google, Microsoft and others. UBC has put out a call for conference papers.
(This announcement comes from UBC archival studies professor, Dr. Luciana Duranti)
In the one of the most significant developments for archives at the international level for many years, the General Conference of UNESCO has today adopted the Universal Declaration on Archives proposed by the International Council on Archives. This landmark decision is an important step in improving public understanding of archives. It provides a splendid opportunity to raise still further awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers.
The Declaration is a powerful succinct statement of the relevance of archives in modern society. It emphasizes the key role of archives in administrative transparency and democratic accountability, as well as the preservation of collective social memory. While not neglecting the traditional concern with meeting the needs of historical research, the Declaration repositions effective archives management as an essential function which underpins modern public administration, good practice in private business, and ready access to information by citizens.
The first version of the Declaration was written by archivists in Québec in 2007. It was then adopted by the Section of Professional Associations (SPA) in ICA, who developed the text and made sure that its key messages were understood across languages and cultures. It generated many stimulating debates in ICA, before it obtained unanimous approval at the AGM in Oslo in September 2010.
Since then the international archival community has worked tirelessly to have the Declaration adopted by UNESCO. Today’s decision is the culmination of intense efforts led by Papa Momar Diop, the Ambassador of Senegal at UNESCO and the former National Archivist of Senegal. He has been ably supported by Jens Boel, Head Archivist at UNESCO, and activists in the ICA network throughout the world.
The challenge now is to use the Declaration to maximum effect, so that archives emerge from the ghetto, in which they are still all too often confined, and take their rightful place as a major player at heart of public administration and the centre of social memory.
In 2005, UNESCO declared October 27 as World Day for Audio Visual Heritage. In recognition of this annual event, many organizations including the ICA is encouraging its members in professions revolving around information and cultural preservation to participate in this year’s theme, “Save and savour your audio visual heritage – now!”.
Cinephiles and photography buffs may be interested in a leaflet distributed on the ICA website to commemorate today’s event. It was developed by the Centre de Recerca i Difusio de la Imatge (CRDI) of the Girona City Council in Spain in partnership with the Museum of Cinema.