Summit set to save Australia’s memories

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A NATIONAL summit meeting at Canberra Museum and Gallery today (December 4) has been convened by the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Program.

The summit involves librarians, archivists, museum curators, historians, public policy makers and cultural commentators as over 40 representatives of peak bodies, professional associations, memory institutions and community stakeholders debate the preservation of Australia’s documentary heritage.

Questions under consideration include how inclusive and comprehensive distributed national holdings of documentary heritage are, whether there are significant gaps and silences in Australia’s historical record and what risks and opportunities digital technologies might present.

Experts from Canada and New Zealand are here to reflect on how those countries are addressing big picture national questions from which Australia can learn, especially in regard to involving indigenous and multicultural communities in shaping their historical record.

“This summit is exciting, but somewhat daunting in the sheer ambition of the big picture questions it is addressing,” says Dr Roslyn Russell, chair of the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Committee.

“We don’t expect to solve all of the issues in a single day, but we do intend to raise awareness of the issue.”


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