Upon the recommendation of the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme, the collection of Dutch records deposited under Record Group 01 at the Sri Lanka National Archives (SLNA) was inscribed on the Memory of the World International Register. This decision was made at the Committee's meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in 2006/5. The Director-General has endorsed the inclusion of these Dutch records on the Memory of the World International Register. The inclusion of this documentary heritage reflects its exceptional value and signifies that it should be protected for the benefit of humanity. It also offers an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the importance of collective memory and its safeguarding, enabling as many people as possible to have access to it.

The oldest Dutch archives deposited at the Sri Lanka National Archives date back to the 17th century, and the history of maritime Sri Lanka can be studied from original archival sources only from the 17th century onwards. Dutch archival materials are available from 1640 to 1796, including the originals of the archives pertaining to the Ceylonese administration in Batavia, Indonesia, and in the National Archives in The Hague, Netherlands. These collections provide researchers with sufficient information on subjects such as political, economic, social, and cultural aspects.

A special event on the inaugural day of National Archives Week, held on November 15, 2004, unveiled a plaque depicting the certificate received from UNESCO under the Memory of the World Programme.

Department of National Archives Sri Lanka

Department of
National Archives
Sri Lanka

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