Building peace in the minds of men and women

Biblioteca Mayor of the University of Cordoba in the Latin America and the Caribbean Memory of the World Register

On 20 April 2015 at library Biblioteca Mayor of the National University of Córdoba (Argentina) the ceremony of incorporation of the Jesuit Collection of the National University of Córdoba (UNC) in the Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean (MOWLAC-UNESCO programme) was held.

The event was attended by Mr Franciso Tamarit, Rector of the National University of Córdoba, and Ms Gabriela Cuozzo, Director of the Biblioteca Mayor of the University, among other high authorities. Mr. Guilherme Canela Godoi, Secretary of the Regional Committee of the Latin America and the Caribbean Memory of the World Register,  was also present. Mr Canela referred to the collection as "another monumental expression of the Jesuit historical legacy in Latin America and Caribbean", stating that "This heritage must be preserved, socialized and known by everyone. These are the three pillars of the Memory of the World".

The celebrations continued in the reading room of the library up to April 17. There, open lectures were offered by leading experts in Documentary Heritage of UNESCO, including Mr. Alfredo Eduardo Fraschini, Ph.D. Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires. It was also the opportunity to take a journey to the history of UNC through its documents, and access the Jesuit Collection.

The Jesuit Collection of the Biblioteca Mayor of the National University of Córdoba is one of the largest collections that make up the valuable bibliographic heritage of the Institution. Its origin dates back to 1613, when the Sociedad de Jesús endowed the Colegio Máximo an important library known as Biblioteca Mayor (Big or Greatest Library) to differentiate it from the other smaller libraries in the Order. The "Library", representative of the civilization of its time, proudly shows through its shelves the works of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Thomas and St. Augustine; aligned with works of Aristotle, Descartes, the five volumes of mathematics and Wolf "Opuscula Pathologica" of Haller, among other scientific writings which are still preserved.

The Memory of the World Programme of UNESCO promotes the preservation, by the most appropriate means, of documentary heritage that has world significance, and national and regional importance. It also supports awareness by Member States of their documentary heritage, in particular aspects of that heritage which are significant in terms of a common global memory. Furthermore, it seeks to develop products based on documentary heritage for making them available for wide distribution, ensuring that the originals are kept in the best possible conditions for storage and security.

Since 2002, the Memory of the World Register Latin America and the Caribbean has accepted 95 nominations including many regional collections on politics, philosophy, literature, music, text, graphics and audiovisual format of regional and national scope. The Latin American and Caribbean list also addresses issues of human rights, indigenous issues and slavery, among others.

This distinction adds to that received by the ancient complex of the Bloque Jesuítico, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in November 2000, thus transformed into a museum area comprising not only the former headquarters National University of Cordoba, but also the Church of the Sociedad de Jesus, the Domestic Chapel, the Residence and the Colegio de Monserrat.

A video about the Biblioteca Mayor can be accessed here (in Spanish).