Dang Thanh Tung, Director of the State Records Management and Archives Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that in 2014, UNESCO recognized the documents as a documentary heritage under the Memory of the World Program for the Asia-Pacific region.

Nguyen Dynasty’s official documents. Source: tienphong.vn 

This is the second time the official documents of the Nguyen Dynasty have been recognized by UNESCO and at the highest level.

The documents are administrative documents issued by the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the last feudal system in Vietnam and in the region. These are the only original documents with Nguyen Kings’ signatures in Vietnam and are among the world’s rare documents with emperors’ autographs.

The Memory of the World Program (MOW) was initiated by UNESCO in 1992 with the aim of preserving and popularizing collections of valuable documents kept at archives departments, libraries and museums worldwide. The MOW is managed at international, regional and national levels.

The official documents of the Nguyen Dynasty are kept at the National Archives Center 1 under the State Records Management and Archives Department. They have signatures of ten Nguyen Kings.

They reflect all social aspects under the reign of Nguyen Kings, including Vietnam’s sovereignty over the seas and islands.

So far, the documents are the fourth UNESCO-recognized world’s documentary heritages of Vietnam. The three others include the woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty, 82 doctoral steles at the Temple of Literature and the woodblocks of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, recognized by UNESCO in 2007, 2010 and 2012 respectively./.