Got me a movie …

“How do you celebrate the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage?”* the European Parliament asked in a post to its Google+ page earlier today.

It was the first I’d heard of UNESCO’s annual drive to raise awareness of our audiovisual heritage that’s built around the fascinating Memory of the World register.

This stretches from 1700 BC to the present day, taking in along the way details of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, the Diaries of Anne Frank, Philippine Paleographs and The Wizard of Oz.

And, while the perilous state of much of the world’s documentary resources was responsible for the register being set up in 1992, it’s clear it still has a place to serve in the digital age.

As monumental shifts transform the way that information and resources are generated, accessed and managed and as an increasing quantity of audiovisual material emerges in digital form – including emails, blogs, social networks, and websites – all audiovisual heritage is endangered today.

Millions of films, audio and video tapes and discs are at risk of crumbling into dust, fading away and disappearing.

To respond, we must recognise and raise awareness about these challenges – this is the importance of the World Day of Audiovisual Heritage.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO director-general

*What’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, may be your first response** – or even, do people still use Google+?

**Though mine would be: How much fun did the European Parliament’s Web Team have making this YouTube playlist – of the Pixies, Paul Westerberg and others – for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage? 

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