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 safeguarding of cultural heritage has always been a priority for IFLA. Here's how we work: 

Safeguarding Cultural Heritage

Access the IFLA Risk Register, and find out more about how we work with Blue Shield and other partners to safeguard documentary cultural heritage. 

Supporting Preservation and Access 

See how IFLA works with UNESCO, supports implementation of the 2015 Recommendation, and shares tools to assist in preservation and access. 

Cultural Heritage Committees and Groups 

Learn about the Preservation and Conservation (PAC) Strategic Programme and the Professional Units working across IFLA to exchange, develop and disseminate cultural heritage knowledge and experience. 

Conservation, Cooperation, Cultural heritage, Preservation

Last update: 4 January 2021

Latest News

Mobilising Libraries for Cultural Diversity: Next-Steps Informed by the UNESCO 2005 Convention

IFLA observed the Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Read on for key take-aways and ideas for how the library field can use this is inform their activity and advocacy in the future.

10 February 2021 | Access to information, Advocacy, Cultural heritage, Development, Digital divide

Libraries Preserving and Providing Access to Culture and Heritage in 2021

Memory, traditions, and creative expressions allow people to share their ideas and values with others. Here are some key areas relating to culture and heritage where IFLA plans to have an impact in 2021.

18 January 2021 | PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Audiovisual and multimedia resources, Conservation, Cultural heritage, Digitisation, Disaster management, Disaster relief, Library as place, Lifelong learning, Multicultural populations, Multilingualism, Peace, Preservation, Risk assessment, Risk Register, Success stories, Sustainability