Collections

International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IICI)

770,000 pages of archives of the IICI, a precursor of UNESCO, are being digitized. The Institute’s archives constitute a precious source of knowledge on international cooperation by major intellectual figures between the two world wars, including Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Masaharu Anesaki, Gabriela Mistral, Taha Hussein, Rabindranath Tagore, and Thomas Mann among others. The Institute’s archives were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2017.

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UNESCO General Conference and Executive Board documents

560,000 pages of governing bodies documents from the late 1940s and 1950s that currently exist only on paper are being digitized. In doing so, we are creating for the first time a complete set of online governing bodies documents about UNESCO’s work since its creation, consultable by everyone. This means that it will be possible to trace the background for any governing body decision and action in a reliable and comprehensive way, from the inception of UNESCO to the present day.

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Films and Videos

45 hours of 16mm film we are digitizing will soon to be rediscovered. These films cover a wide range of UNESCO activities and include such titles as That All May Learn (1949), You and Human Rights (1950), The Treasures of Nubia (1960) and The Sun of the Earth (1971).

30 hours of video programmes from the 1980s which, currently only on obsolete video carriers, would soon become impossible to consult unless digitized. Titles soon to be online include Violins of Peace, Only One Earth, People of the Desert, and UNESCO World Public News.

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Sound Recordings

8000 hours of sound recordings are being digitized, including UNESCO Radio reports, a hidden treasure, and other unique programmes, interviews and recordings from the late 1940s to 1980s. Covering the major fields of UNESCO’s activities, the recordings were translated into many languages and broadcast to the World with the tagline “Peoples speaking to Peoples”.

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Photographs

5000 photos demonstrating the wealth and breadth of UNESCO’s activities from 1945 to the present are being digitized. Exceptional photos documenting watershed UNESCO moments like the Campaign to Safeguard the City of Venice and the Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia will be available online for the first time. Themes include fundamental education, youth, journalism, space exploration, oceanography and others reflecting UNESCO’s institutional memory. 

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 This project has received generous support from the People of Japan