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Memory of the World programme

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO maintains Memory of the World programme. The vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.

UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme’s objectives

  • To facilitate preservation, by the most appropriate techniques, of the world's documentary heritage.
  • To assist universal access to documentary heritage.

  • To increase awareness worldwide of the existence and significance of documentary heritage.

UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

UNESCO maintains the international Memory of the World Register. The Memory of the World Register lists documentary heritage which has been recommended by the International Advisory Committee, and endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO, as corresponding to the selection criteria regarding world significance and outstanding universal value.

Finnish resources in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register

Three resources from Finland have been chosen for the international Memory of the World Register. You can find these resources on UNESCO's website.

The first to be selected for the register in 1997 was the A.E. Nordenskiöld Collection maintained by the National Library. In 2009, the Radzwills’ Archives, a library and archive collection, parts of which are kept in the National Library and in nine other European libraries, were inscribed in the register. The latest Finnish resource was inscribed in the register in 2015, when the Skolt Village Archives maintained by the Sami Archives were accepted on the register.