The Macau Knowledge Centre, City University of Macau, Macau Documentation and Information Society, with the generous support of the Macau Foundation, have organised a seminar focused on increasing cooperation for the preservation of, and access to, the documentary heritage of Macau, Goa, Timor-Leste and Malacca.
The seminar took place on the 22 of November 2017 at the City University of Macau, and brought together archivists, academics, students, and Memory of the World (MoW) experts to share information and to discuss ways to develop cooperation. Approximately 50 people attended the seminar.
Macau, Goa, Malacca, Timor-Leste have been linked for over 500 years through trade, colonial governments, and religious institutions. Extensive records were created from these exchanges, covering a range of topics from population data, legal matters, to culture and more. However, currently many of these collections are difficult to access and strong links between the archives are yet to be developed.
In his remarks during the seminar, Mr. Horacio Marques, Director General of the National Archives of Timor-Leste, outlined the importance of addressing this issue, sharing that many collections that testify to the history of Timor-Leste only exist in Goa, Macau and other archives overseas. Gaining access to this material is vital for the county’s national identity, education, and research purposes.
In the key note address, Dr Roslyn Russell, MoW expert, shared the process of developing MoW nominations, and gave examples of multi-national nominations from the region. While Mr. Andrew Henderson, Secretary General of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP), shared an overview of MOWCAP’s work to promote regional cooperation through the programme.
In her closing remarks, Dr Helen Iong, Director of the Macau Documentation and Information Society, spoke about the importance of working together to promote understanding and research opportunities across borders. Dr. Iong shared that she hoped the initial seminar could develop in to a wider cooperation between the different archives.
An exhibition was held in conjunction with the seminar at the Knowledge Centre, City University of Macau. The exhibition featured material contributed from each of the participating archives and highlighted the connections between the places through correspondence files, plans and photographs, postcards, and more.