Vietnam’s 19th-century documents get UNESCO recognition

Thanh Nien News

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Records from the Nguyen Dynasty's administrative trove. Photo credit: VOV

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially recognized a trove of imperial records from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) as a world documentary heritage during a ceremony in Hanoi on Wednesday.
The set of administrative documents, known as “Châu Bản Triều Nguyễn” in Vietnamese, were entered into the Asia-Pacific Register of the Memory of the World.
UNESCO described the records as the sole set of surviving administrative documents maintained by a Vietnamese dynasty.
The records amount to nearly 200,000 pages, including notices, circulars, and decrees issued during the reign of the 11 Nguyen emperors.
The records are printed on handmade paper and bear the original seals of the kings and their agencies.
Professor Phan Huy Le, chairman of the Vietnamese Association of Historical Sciences, told the press the records also reflect Vietnam's sovereign rights over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagos.
Every year, the dynasty sent naval forces to the archipelagos to collaborate with on-site military forces in conducting a variety of activities like mapping islands, surveying and exploring seaways, and exploiting resources, he said.
The imperial records of the Nguyen Dynasty represent Vietnam's fourth documentary heritage recognized by the UNESCO.

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