The Memory of the World in the Digital age

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), held an international conference on "The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation" last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

IFLA was an organising partner of the conference, along with the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Over 500 people were in attendance, including large numbers of library and archive professionals, along with representatives from governments, civil society organisations and technology companies including Google and Microsoft. There was an intense focus on how to support the preservation of cultural heritage through digitisation efforts at national and international levels, and the programme tracks gave space for presentations and conversations about technique, technology and policy.

Ingrid Parent (IFLA President), Victoria Owen (Chair of the Copyright and other Legal Matters Committee), Christiane Baryla (Director of the Preservation and Conversation Programme) and Stuart Hamilton (Director, Policy and Advocacy) attended a number of sessions during the three day conference, and were able to make a number of contributions from the perspective of libraries. At the end of three days a document was produced which contains a number of recommendations for UNESCO, for Member States, for professional organisations and for industry. Comments on this document are now open for a period of two weeks, after which a final version will be produced and circulated.

IFLA urges you to read the document and make contributions—do you support the recommendations? Is something missing, or does something need correcting? UNESCO will take all submissions into account and revise accordingly.

See: Vancouver Declaration

Submissions should be sent to: [email protected]

Stuart Hamilton
IFLA Director, Policy & Advocacy