Cultural Heritage

IFLA's work on preserving cultural heritage

1992: Vedran Smailović plays his cello in the destroyed National Library, Sarajevo
Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev

Culture is a basic need.  A community thrives through its cultural heritage, it dies without it.

Cultural heritage consists of tangible and intangible, natural and cultural, movable and immovable assets inherited from the past. It is of extremely high value for the present and the future of communities. Access, preservation, and education around cultural heritage are essential for the evolution of people and their culture.

The preservation and restoration of cultural heritage has always been a priority for IFLA.

It is essential to monitor areas at risk, to advocate for and raise awareness about conflict and disaster prevention. With an increase in cultural heritage being abused for political propaganda and destroyed to serve certain agendas, the protection of cultural heritage has never been more important.

Next to the possible destruction of cultural heritage through war and occupation, the illicit traffic of cultural objects is also a threat to the survival of cultural heritage. In times of upheaval and confusion, cultural heritage can be displaced or illegally sold.

IFLA is working together with UNESCO and the International Committee of the Blue Shield to prevent this from happening and ensure that (physical) cultural heritage remains in safe conditions in their place of origin.

IFLA sets out to monitor disaster areas around the globe and help with preservation as well as reconstruction once disasters (natural and man-made) have happened.

Conservation, Cooperation, Cultural heritage, Preservation

Letzte Aktualisierung: 13 Juni 2017

Latest News

IFLA Congratulates New Senior Staff at UNESCO

As the leading UN institution working on education, science and culture, UNESCO is a key partner for libraries. IFLA already engages with the institution across a wide variety of issues, from cultural heritage at risk to Internet universality. The announcement of four new senior appointments in key sectors – in education, culture and communications and information, as well as a new Deputy Director-General – is therefore a useful opportunity to reaffirm these relationships.

12 April 2018 | PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Education, Information literacy, Preservation, UNESCO

Two Past IFLA Presidents Participate in the 7th International Summit of the Book

The book retains its status as a symbol of the possibility to preserve and share knowledge, the foundation of our evolution and development. Libraries continue to focus on collecting and giving access to books, alongside other resources now, and have a key function in preserving historic texts for the future. This was the message at the 7th International Summit of the Book, held in Baku, Azerbaijan 18-19 March 2018, which two past IFLA Presidents helped open.

11 April 2018 | Asia and Oceania, Information literacy, Literacy, Preservation, Azerbaijan

Disaster Risk Response – A brief on Libraries and the Sendai Framework

Libraries safeguard cultural heritage, and through access to information support the development and wellbeing of their communities, including in times of disaster. IFLA has put together a brief on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and what it means for libraries around the world.

7 März 2018