A 215-year old stone tablet called the Batu Tarsilah and the first feature film ever made in Brunei were some of the documentary heritage that were discussed in the recent workshop “Memory of the World: Safeguarding Documentary Heritage in Brunei” which took place in Bandar Seri Begawan on 18 September 2019.
The workshop organized by the National Archives of Brunei is the first of such events taking place in the country. The workshop aimed to raise participant’s knowledge of UNESCO’s effort in safeguarding documentary heritage in particular through its Memory of the World programme and contribute to the achievement of SDGs especially on Goal 16
About forty participants consisted of representatives from the National Archive, the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Brunei, University of Brunei Darussalam, Ministry of Education, Attorney General’s Chamber, and other relevant agencies were introduced to the UNESCO’s programme on preservation and safeguarding of documentary heritage. Brunei is also interested in establishing its national committee for the Memory of the World to strengthen the regional and international network on the preservation of documentary heritage.
Documentary heritage can take the form of text or non-text document, or audiovisual and digital document. The content may be recorded in different carrier including stone such as the Batu Tarsilah, a stone tablet that lists the genealogy of the Sultans of Brunei all the way back to 1363 CE until 1804 CE, which is considered as one of the most important documentary heritage in the country.
Through the Memory of the World Programme UNESCO supports the preservation of documentary heritage such as text, photos, audio recording, film, that document the collective memory of the peoples. . UNESCO also produced the 2015 Recommendation on the Preservation and Safeguarding of Documentary Heritage including in the Digital Form, which serves as a guideline for memory institutions and governments in developing a better policy to protect the documentary heritage.