Collections and original documentary cultural heritage objects have, over time and due to a wide variety of circumstances, found their homes in countries and memory institutions which were not the original producers of these objects. The technological advances over the past decades now make it possible to digitally bring together collections which can provide a fuller view of an interconnecting culture and history and give access to citizens and researchers wherever they may be.

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In 2015, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the Recommendation concerning the preservation of and access to documentary including in digital form, while IFLA’s Key Initiative 3.2.2 aims to foster debate and exchange of ideas to explore collection and access issues for libraries in digital / virtual reunification of documentary cultural heritage content.

To further this ongoing debate and help the digital unification of documentary heritage, IFLA will set up a working group which will include members from the relevant IFLA professional units, representatives from the UNESCO Memory of the World Program, the International Council on Archives (ICA), the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) as well as additional expert members. The working group will be confirmed by the IFLA Governing Board in April 2017 and will take up its mandate after this. 

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