Slavery archives included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

May 22, 2023 –THE HAGUE – The archives documenting the lives of enslaved individuals and their descendants in the Dutch Antillean islands and Suriname have been officially added to UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of the World Register (MoW register). 

The MoW register, as stated by the National Archives in The Hague, recognizes documentary heritage of exceptional global significance. The archives included in this registry consist of slave and emancipation registers, as well as civil status documents pertaining to freed slaves from the years 1816 to 1969. Additionally, the Curaçao Zíkinza collection, comprising 1410 audio recordings of interviews conducted in the 1950s and 1960s, is also featured in the register. 

Collaboratively, the National Archives of Curaçao, Suriname, and the Netherlands, alongside the National Archaeological Anthropological Memory Management and the government of Sint Maarten, made the nomination to UNESCO for these archives. 

The inclusion of these archives in the MoW register aligns with a period in which the Dutch slavery past is under scrutiny. The commemoration year, commencing in July, will address various aspects of slavery and its enduring impact throughout the Kingdom. 

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