Celebration event as wildlife film archive added to UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’
Press release issued: 20 July 2023
A special celebration event is being held to mark the Wildlife Filmmaking Oral Histories Collection, held by the University of Bristol, being added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) ‘Memory of the World’ programme.
The event will take place on Tuesday 25 July from 5pm to 7pm at the Orangery, Goldney Hall and will be attended by Professor Anderson, UNESCO UK Chair, who will present the awards.
The ‘Memory of the World’ programme is a register of significant documents from across the globe, catalogued for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
The Wildlife Filmmaking Oral Histories Collection is a series of oral history video interviews and transcripts with wildlife film-makers which were recorded between 1998-2011. They form a key part of the Wildlife Archive.
Bristol is a UNESCO city of film, in part due to the role the City has played in Wildlife film making since the establishment of the BBC Natural History Unit (est 1957) and the associated film production companies, which has led to its reputation as the ‘Green Hollywood’.
The UNESCO committee concluded that the oral histories represent a unique and significant piece of national documentary heritage and should be inscribed on the register.
Ed Fay, Director of Library Services, said: “The archive provides fascinating insight not only into our relationship with wildlife and the natural environment but also the history of wildlife documentaries themselves. It is fantastic that it will be preserved in this way for future generations.”
Professor Anne Anderson, Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO, said: “The UK's Memory of the World Register is a collection of the UK's most important historical documents and collections and I am so pleased that the Wildlife Filmmaking Oral Histories Collection has become a part of it.
“It is excellent news that the filmmaking heritage of Bristol has been recognized in a further way by UNESCO following the city's designation as a UNESCO City of Film.”
The UNESCO committee concluded that the oral histories represent a unique and significant piece of national documentary heritage and should be inscribed on the register. UNESCO initiated the Memory of the World Programme in 1993.
A video about the Oral Histories Collection can be viewed here: Oral Histories in the Wildfilm Archive - YouTube.