The topic of conserving and transmitting collective memory does not only affect museums. For the first time ever, the International Council of Museums has therefore initiated close institutional partnerships with cultural organisations that share ICOM’s missions and feel concerned by these questions.
The world is facing a catastrophe of losing millions of text and print items including books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs and historic records as well as millions of films, audio and video tapes and discs, not to mention the growing digital heritage accessible online or shared through other means.
These documents are the core of the memory of humanity, and their loss would leave the global community without the ability to understand the past or build the future. Their protection is assured under the Memory of the World Programme, which seeks to safeguard priceless documentary heritage from all corners of the world, from the dawn of history to contemporary times, including audio, visual and anecdotal memory. It contains the diversity of multi-dimensional events that have influenced human beings in personal and profound ways and should be disseminated to future generations.
CCAAA represents the interests of worldwide professional archive organisations with interests in audiovisual materials including films, broadcast television and radio, and audio recordings of all kinds. Although predominantly working in the public sector, CCAAA reflects a broad range of interests across the broadcast media, arts, heritage, education and information sectors. The professional archivists that CCAAA ultimately represents work in institutions such as archives, libraries and museums at national and local level, university teaching and research departments, and broadcasting organisations.
The International Council on Archives (ICA) is a worldwide non‐governmental organisation, with about 1,500 institutional and individual members in over 190 countries and territories. National Archives services play a prominent part in ICA, together with professional records management and archival associations, other archival institutions and individuals. With its combination of geographical branches and sections focusing on different professional interests, ICA has developed an organisational structure enabling international co‐operation in the area of archives. It strives to build a better understanding across societies while respecting linguistic and cultural diversity. It acts as the voice of archive institutions and professionals on the global stage.
ICA promotes the central role of recordkeeping and archives in protecting the rights of individuals and states, and in supporting democracy and good governance, through working for the effective management of archives from the moment of their creation, the permanent preservation of archives as the documented memory of nations and societies, and the widest possible public access to that memory.
ICA also provides a forum for professional discussion across political divides. Over 60 years, ICA has produced a wide range of important publications, most of which are still invaluable works of reference for practicing archivists today. It plays a key role in the development of major standards in the intellectual management of archives, enabling archivists to play a full part in emerging online information networks. Its business plan is underpinned by a rich professional programme including more than 40 projects and a wide range of professional conferences throughout the world.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites is a global NGO with more than 10,000 cultural heritage professionals present in over 100 countries, and 28 International Scientific Committees. Through the cross-disciplinary exchange of its members, it fosters improved heritage conservation standards and techniques for all forms of cultural properties: buildings, historic towns, cultural landscapes, archaeological sites, etc. – tangible expressions of the collective memory of humankind. An advisory body to UNESCO, it actively takes part in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
In working for the conservation of monuments and sites world-wide, ICOMOS and its members strive to ensure the survival of these unique repositories of global memory. As embodiments of human development and history, heritage places reflect humanity’s achievements as well as its darkest moments. ICOMOS is dedicated to safeguarding both tangible and intangible values of the world’s monuments, which are linked to broader issues of cultural identity, human rights, and collective memory. It is thus with a deep sense of common cause that ICOMOS supports ICOM’s effort to promote the theme of Memory on International Museum Day 2011.
IFLA supports the important role of libraries in preserving the written memory of the world, whether on paper or in digital form, and in making it accessible for our generation and for generations to come.
International examples of Digital Libraries are the World Digital Library and Europeana. IFLA embraces these memory initiatives. In its strategic development for 2010-2015 IFLA aims to provide an international network of experts and to bring expertise in the field of standardisation.
The IFLA Digital Libraries Manifesto is an advocacy tool for building digital libraries and the safeguarding of the world’s digital memory. The IFLA/CDNL Alliance on Digital Strategies is IFLA’s core activity, which focuses on standardisation and digital strategies.
IFLA holds the secretariat of the LAMMS Coordinating Council, through which NGOs of libraries, archives centres, museums and monuments and sites enhance cooperation in fields of common interest, such as the development of the Global Digital Library initiatives.