Posts Tagged heritage

UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Memory of the World Declaration

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.

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UNESCO World Day for Audio Visual Heritage

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.

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IRIBA Center for Multimedia Heritage in Rwanda

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Filmmaker, Anne Aghion attempts to spearhead an initiative to make freely accessible the audio-visual history of Rwanda’s recent past for all Rwandans through the launch of a heritage center, the IRIBA Center.  Aghion has long since been creating documentaries covering the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Her last film, My Neighbour My Killer, was intended to foster discussions on co-existence within Rwanda.  In keeping with the theme of sharing the common history that belongs to Rwandans, Aghion along with her Kigali partner, Assumpta Mugiraneza, a social psychologist, are appealing to the public to support and join them to establish IRIBA Center.

The center intends on collecting documentation footage that will represent Rwanda’s historical legacy.  As a media archive of remembrance, IRIBA takes its inspiration from, and plans to model itself after the Bophana Center in Cambodia, started by another filmmaker, Rithy Panh.  Bophana’s belief has been that there is a link between memory and lack of democracy. As such, they have made it their mission to collect, preserve, and make available audio-visual material on the Cambodian genocide.  To spread word on the IRIBA Center, Aghion has enlisted Kickstarter in hopes of raising funds.  Many international donors have already supported the center.

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A Message from UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, visited the United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UNARMS) last year and examined some of the archival records of the UN Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA).  I had to opportunity last summer to archive parts of this large series collection, which are part of the UN Missions fonds.  I was told then that the SG was nostalgic as he examined the records, reflecting on his own experiences as a child in Korea of the 1950s during the time the records were created.  Here’s a brief message from the Secretary-General on the importance of keeping archives, reminding us of the ideals behind preserving official records and opening them up to the public.

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Museum of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict

Just released, here is an excellent compendium of insights from experts working in memory institutions around the world regarding their current practices relating to larger societal issues.

Traditionally museums have been established on the basis of collections. However, some of today’s most challenging and dynamic museums are those founded on the basis of ideas. Their themes may span human rights, social inclusion, peace, war, health, gender, climate change, etc. Their size, budget, scope and ambitions may differ, but they are all driven and committed in a way which tends to set them apart.  Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict provides a unique insight into the operation of these committed, pioneering institutions, highlighting what can be learned from their experiences – and applied to benefit the broader museum community and its users.

In some 35 chapters and 450 pages, this major new books provides an extraordinary overview of the thinking behind the programmes of some of today’s most exciting and challenging museums including the following:

* Canadian Museum of Human Rights
* Happy Museum Project, UK
* Jihad Museum, Afghanistan
* Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Japan
* Levine Museum of the New South, USA
* Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh
* Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb
* Museum of Defecation, Delhi
* Museum of Free Derry, UK
* Museum of Historical Memory, Ukraine
* Museum of Sexology, Oslo
* Museum of the English Language
* National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, USA
* President Lincoln’s Cottage, Wqshington DC, USA
* Victims Museum, Afghanistan

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Files in Hungarian National Archives Threatened

There is a problematic piece of legislation in Hungary which if passed, proposes the destruction of archives pertaining to the Communist era in Hungary.

In December 2010, Hungary’s parliamentary secretary for justice announced that his government believes that a democratic state cannot “preserve the immoral documents of an immoral regime.”  By November 2011, the Government of Hungary plans to introduce legislation that will permit the removal and destruction of Hungarian communist secret police, interior ministry and state security files currently held at the Historical Archives of Hungarian State Security in Budapest, and available to researchers, as well as to survivors and effected communities.

800 supporters thus far have signed a petition against the proposed legislation on the blog site Save Hungary’s Archives. Here in Canada, the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) and the National Post have made efforts to spotlight the injustice of sanitizing the archives in this way.

Read CHA article

Read National Post article

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UNMIS Archivist Tom Adami to Speak at National Research Centre Forum

Tom A. Adami will be featured as a speaker at the National Research Centre Forum on the Canadian Residential Schools hosted by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada next month in Vancouver.  He has worked since 1990 as an information manager when he joined the Dept of Defence in Sydney as records manager and archivist. In 1997 he joined the National Archives of Australia as a research officer in the policy development section.  In 1999 he joined the United Nations, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Tanzania as Chief Archivist and head of the Judicial Records and Archives Unit. He subsequently held postings at the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and at the UN Archives in New York.

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