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New Zealand Memory Preserved For All Time

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand is now part of the international community working to promote the importance of documentary heritage through the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

This important cultural milestone is to be celebrated with a launch function on Thursday 30 June at The New Zealand Film Archive to announce the first five inscriptions on the New Zealand Memory of the World Register.

These include two international inscriptions - the Treaty of Waitangi (1840) and the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition, alongside one New Zealand item on the Memory of the World Asia and Pacific register -The Tokyo War Crimes Trials 1946-1948.

Also being committed to the Memory of the World at this time are the first two inscriptions on the New Zealand register: The Grey New Zealand M?ori Manuscripts - the manuscript, book collection and personal papers collection of Sir George Grey (twice Governor of New Zealand); and the manuscript score of Douglas Lilburn's 'Overture: Aotearoa' - an overture for orchestra written in 1940, while Lilburn was a student in London at the Royal College of Music.

UNESCO launched the Memory of the World programme in 1992 to recognise significant documentary heritage in a similar fashion to the way UNESCO's World Heritage List recognises significant natural and cultural sites.

The International Memory of the World Register seeks to identify items of documentary heritage which have worldwide significance. It aims to bring the value and significance of documentary heritage to wider public notice, along with the work performed by libraries, archives and museums in preserving this valuable heritage.

The New Zealand Memory of the World Programme is one of over 60 Memory of the World programmes worldwide and was established in 2010 by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. The New Zealand committee's members have a broad knowledge of New Zealand's heritage institutions and communities.

Documentary heritage listed on the Memory of the World registers at international, national and regional level reflects a world-wide diversity of events, cultures and languages in many shapes and forms. It includes the remaining nine minute fragment of Australia's first narrative film 'The Story of the Kellly Gang' (1906), China's Golden Lists of the Qing Dynasty Imperial Examination (1667-1903), records of Indian indentured labourers in Fiji (1879-1960), Europe's first printed book the Gutenberg bible and Fritz Lang's film 'Metropolis' (1927).

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