Nau mai Haere mai

2019 Register nominations have closed

We are pleased to have received five nominations from four institutions.

Prepare now for the 2020 round. Closing dates for Expressions of Interest and Nominations are yet to be confirmed, but are likely to be earlier than in previous years.

Your enquiries about qualification are most welcome, to enquiries@unescomow.org.nz.

New Zealand Memory of the World Register Nominations 2019

The UNESCO Memory of the World Aotearoa New Zealand Trust is calling for nominations for the New Zealand Memory of the World Register of documentary heritage. Nominations for inscription close on 31 August 2019.

This year Aotearoa New Zealand will acknowledge 250 years since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans. 2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, an observance that aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of indigenous languages across the world. And it is the United Nations International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements to highlight its first publication in 1869.

Each of these offers themes around which nominations could be made, however, themed nominations are not mandatory.

The Memory of the World New Zealand register was established in 2010 and currently lists 35 inscriptions of significant documentary heritage. Their custodians include heritage institutions and other organisations in our main cities, small towns and private collections. All greatly contribute to the story of our nation’s history and heritage and are significant to the identity of New Zealanders today.

UNESCO recognition draws attention to the significance of documentary heritage and the institutions that are its custodians. Inscription on the register raises awareness of the custodian’s institutions and promotes the importance of caring for our documentary heritage

The organisation’s promotion and publicity contribute to ensuring our nation’s history and stories are not forgotten.

The nomination form for 2019 is now on the website www.unescomow.org.nz.

Expressions of Interest

In the past few years the Trust has used the Expression of Interest form as background for discussion with the potential nominator. This option is not available this year. We plan to reintroduce it next year.

Nominators who decided to continue with the nomination were offered support to complete the full nomination form. Support included one to one contact with an expert or attendance at a workshop to complete a draft of the nomination form.

The Trust still welcomes enquiries to assist you decide about the match between documentary heritage characteristics and criteria and your proposal.

Contact us at enquiries@unescomow.org.nz.

Bruce Ralston, Chair

Note: 2020 dates for expressions and nominations may be earlier in the year.


See our Newsletter December 2018


Eight New Inscriptions to the Documentary Heritage Register

The UNESCO Memory of the World New Zealand Trust has announced eight new inscriptions to its documentary heritage register.

The eight are: Kerikeri Mission Te Reo Slates (nominated by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga (HNZPT) and Nga Uri O Hongi), Marti Friedlander Archive (Auckland Art Gallery), Journals and Papers of Reverend Charles Baker (Auckland War Memorial Museum),  Lovelock, John Edward (Jack), 1910-1949: Papers (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington), Cambodian women in New Zealand oral history project, 1993 (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington), Armson Collins Architectural Drawing Collection (University of Canterbury), Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Deaconess Collection (Presbyterian Research Centre, Dunedin), James Herries Beattie: Papers (1848-1972) (Hocken Collections, University of Otago, Dunedin).

The Memory of the World New Zealand Trust Chair Bruce Ralston said, “This year we have inscriptions from the Bay of Islands to Otago. It is extremely pleasing the message about the relevance and importance of documentary heritage has reached so widely".  Read more here

Advantages of inscription on the New Zealand/Aotearoa MOW Register include:

  • Ensuring that our history and our stories are not forgotten
  • Highlighting the significance of the information /knowledge contained in collections
  • Recognition by an independent organisation (UNESCO)
  • Public recognition of the importance of documentary heritage
  • Publicity and promotion for your institution
  • To be part of an international network of the most important documentary heritage in the world
  • Increased possibility of attracting resources (to care for, preserve and promote the collection)
  • Raised awareness of the work done by custodians of documentary heritage

The criteria for inscription and the process for submission (including a nomination form) can be found under the “Nomination” tab above.  If you are uncertain whether your documentary heritage meets the criteria or have any questions please email "enquiries@unescomow.org.nz" and a member of the Committee will contact you.

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Contact Us



UNESCO Memory of the World
Aotearoa/New Zealand Trust
PO Box 62
Waihi 3641
New Zealand