UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MoW) Programme celebrated its 30th anniversary from 27 October – 5 November 2022. This programme seeks to ensure that the documentary heritage of the world is preserved, protected, and accessible – for people now and in the future. This ambition is expressed in the UNESCO 2015 Recommendation on the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage including in Digital Form (2015 Recommendation) [PDF], which defines documentary heritage as objects which contain analogue or digital information, such as books, manuscripts, archives and audio-visual content.

Cherie Bush, Chair of the IFLA Local History and Genealogy Section shares how the Section’s work contributes to documenting the heritage of the world through sharing collections, best practices, and stories.

The Section works with genealogical associations, libraries, archives, and universities to document, provide access to, and preserve local history and genealogy records and collections. The section continues to engage diverse communities in research and dialogue about their history and heritage, ensuring identity and memory can be celebrated and transmitted to future generations. A few examples would include: the 2017 WLIC Satellite Meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, the WLIC Satellite Meeting 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, the WLIC Satellite Meeting 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia, and a series of ongoing webinars. The sessions share challenges and opportunities of collection development in genealogy and local history, engaging communities with local history collections, and documenting historic connection through oral history. Past webinars are posted on the LOCGEN YouTube Channel.

In addition to webinars and workshops, the Section shares information about work being done around the world that assists with the preservation of local history and genealogy. One example is this RepoData project in the United States, a map of over 18,000 archives and institutions holding archival material.