UNESCO launches survey to identify needs of memory institutions in the Arab region


UNESCO has launched a survey aimed at understanding the needs and challenges facing all memory institutions and collectors in the Arab region in preserving and promoting documentary heritage.

This initiative is being undertaken as part of a larger strategy by UNESCO’s Memory of the World (MoW Programme better understand the status of preservation of documentary heritage at the regional and national levels in order to formulate recommendations for conservation practitioners, memory institutions and governments.

The results of the survey are also expected to help UNESCO identify areas where additional support is needed and ensure its interventions in the field of capacity-building, technical support and advocacy are in line with regional needs and aspirations.

This survey is part of the regional project “Supporting documentary heritage preservation in the Arab region”. An important outcome will be the provision of capacity-building training sessions and workshops for documentary heritage preservation practitioners based in countries in crisis as well as  providing guidance on preventive conservation of documentary heritage in emergencies. The survey results are expected to be presented in October 2019.

The long-term goal or impact of the project is the protection of the Arab region’s history, identity, and knowledge through the preservation of documentary heritage, which currently runs the risk of being lost due to neglect, natural decay, outdated technology, inadequate housing, or deliberate destruction.

In this regard, the project will see Arabic manuscripts, books, maps, videos and archives continue contributing to the rich culture of the region, including  promoting inter-cultural tolerance and dialogue.  

Institutions, libraries or collectors interested in taking part in UNESCO's survey can express their interest through the following link:


The MoW Programme was set up in 1992 in order to identify items of world-significant documentary heritage, ensure their preservation, and promote universal access to their enjoyment.