The International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme discusses PERSIST

At its 13th meeting from 24 to 27 October 2017, the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme discussed not only the 132 submissions for the MoW Register, but also various other aspects of its work for the safeguarding and stimulating access to documentary heritage.

The Unesco MoW International Advisory Committee

The Unesco MoW International Advisory Committee

Two members of the IAC, David Fricker and Jonas Palm had presented a document on the future status of the PERSIST programme within the framework of MoW. Fricker is the chair of the PERSIST steering committee and Palm chairs the MoW Sub-Committee on Technology (SCoT), a body that has now changed its name to  Preservation Sub-Committee (PSC).


The document Advancing the PERSIST Initiative explained that PERSIST needs a more recognizable connection to MoW if it is to advance on its mission to start a policy dialogue between heritage institutions, governments and industry on digital sustainability. PERSIST has been part of MoW since its very inception at the Vancouver Conference The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation in 2012, but its status has not always been sufficiently clear for the Unesco Secretariat and the Unesco member States. PERSIST has likewise cooperated with SCoT since its official launch at the Hague Conference in December 2013, as there is a big overlap between the goals of both groups. Fricker and Palm proposed the transition of PERSIST to a Digital Subcommittee (DSC) on a par with the various other Sub-Committees that function MoW, and to decide on a next IAC meeting whether the PSC and the DSC would merge to one entity.


There were, however, concerns that by creating a new Digital Subcommittee, the preservation of analogue documentary heritage would be side-lined.  It was decided that a working group consisting of Jussi Nuorteva, Adolf Knoll,  Dietrich Schüller, Jonas Palm, Vitor Fonseca and David Fricker should examine how PERSIST can be integrated into the framework of MoW.  The IAC asked the Working Group to make proposals on this within six months. Fricker is confident that this working group will come up with a solution that will beneficial to both the PSC and PERSIST.

Categories: PERSIST Programme

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