UNESCO & preservation

Recently UNESCO’s Memory of the World program organized an interesting webinar called “Documentary Heritage at Risk: Policy Gaps in Digital Preservation”. As preservationists we can use every support to spread the word about digital preservation. In this webinar, four topics were identified as a risk for digital preservation, that will need greater international policy attention. One: the protection of cultural identity, which is a well discussed topic in preservation nowadays. Two: how to achieve sustainability. Three: the technological obsolescence (with an example of magnetic tape recordings) , and number four : (the absence of) legal frameworks. International speakers highlighted each of these topics. You can find a nice summary here but you can also watch the sessions.

The UNESCO Persist program is part of the Memory of the World program. The Persist program already exists for a few years and has a lot of ambitions. I remember one of the goals was to have agreements with large software suppliers to give access to their legacy software for memory organisations. But as an organisation they lacked a bit of concrete achievements, and their visibility in the preservation community was limited. In 2020 they were ‘upgraded’ to become part of  Preservation Sub-Committee of the UNESCO Memory of the World program. Perhaps things will change now.

© 2020 Barbara Sierman

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