The Director-General of UNESCO has designated National Archives of Australia (NAA) as the laureate of the 2011 UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize for its work, which includes publications, and innovative initiatives in the preservation of digital records.
Established in 1960, the National Archives has become a world leader in many areas notably that of digital preservation. It consistently shares its professional know-how with experts and interested members of the public through extensive publications. Furthermore, the NAA shares the fruit of its own research and development by making available open source tools for digital preservation to the global preservation community.
The Australian Archives have also developed world-class expertise in facing one of the key challenges of the digital era: how to adapt the record-creating processes of government agencies to the needs of recordkeeping to ensure the lasting access to documents that testify to the work of public bodies.
The NAA has also demonstrated innovation in its collaborative work on the preservation of documents written in iron gall ink (an ink that includes iron salts and which has been in use in Europe for many centuries).
The US$ 30,000 Prize, wholly funded by the Republic of Korea, is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions that have made significant contributions to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage.
The NAA has announced it will use the Prize to fund a paid work experience placement for a student of conservation, as an investment in the future of documentary heritage preservation.
The Prize-giving ceremony will take place in Cheongju City (Republic of Korea) on 2 September.