Solomon Islands' World War II Records inscribed in the MOWCAP Register
16 July 2018
The Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) is the regional forum for the global MOW Programme. Every two years, MOWCAP announces new inscriptions on the regional register of "documentary heritage of influence" in the Asia/Pacific region.
Ten new inscriptions to the MOWCAP register were approved at the MOWCAP 8th General Meeting held in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, from 29–31 May. Two of those inscriptions were from the Pacific and were first-time inscriptions for both the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. They were:
- SOLOMON ISLANDS: World War Two Records – British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) - The administrative records created during world war two and records of the aftermath of the war; and
- TUVALU: Agreements with Native Governments 1893-1916 - The Agreements with Native Governments are the only original documents that are evidence of when each of the Ellis Islands submitted to the British Empire.
A few weeks ago we brought you the story of the Tuvalu's journey towards having their valuable documentary heritage inscribed. In the article below, Margaret Inifiri from the National Archives of the Solomon Islands talks about how they became aware of MOWCAP and developed their submission for the MOWCAP Register.
The World War II Records in the National Archives of the Solomon Islands (NASI) have been inscribed in the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and Pacific (MOWCAP) Regional Register at its 8th General Meeting held in Kwangju City, Republic of Korea from 29 May – 1 June 2018.
I first learned about nominating Memories to the MOWCAP Register from a PARBICA colleague, Noa Petueli, during one of the PARBICA Bureau teleconferences in 2015. I then submitted a draft nomination of our British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) Collection and was invited to attend UNESCO training in Suzhou, China in 2015. At the training I was advised by the experts that I should focus on just a subset of the BSIP Collection, and I selected the WW II Records.
In 2016, the WW II Records were nominated because of their rich heritage and significance, not only nationally but universally as well. These WW II Records were the administrative records created during the time of, and the aftermath of, the war. These documents are of immense significance to the Solomon Islands, the Pacific region, the Japanese, the United States, British colonial history and the world generally. I attended another UNESCO training session in Fiji, where we were assisted and guided by the MOWCAP expert so that our nominations followed the prescribed format. The nominations were due on the 30 August 2017 and I was fortunate to submit our nomination on time. It was through these training sessions that I learned more about the Memory of the World for Asia and Pacific Regional Register.
I represented NASI at the 8th General Assembly and presented our nomination before voting by the MOWCAP member countries. Including the two new inscriptions from the Pacific, there were ten new inscriptions to the MOWCAP Regional Register.
Although the Solomon Islands is not a member of MOWCAP, we managed to have our nomination inscribed and I thank everyone who supported NASI's nomination.