Cultural Heritage

IFLA's work on preserving cultural heritage

1992: Vedran Smailović plays his cello in the destroyed National Library, Sarajevo
Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev

Culture is a basic need.  A community thrives through its cultural heritage, it dies without it.

Cultural heritage consists of tangible and intangible, natural and cultural, movable and immovable assets inherited from the past. It is of extremely high value for the present and the future of communities. Access, preservation, and education around cultural heritage are essential for the evolution of people and their culture.

The preservation and restoration of cultural heritage has always been a priority for IFLA.

It is essential to monitor areas at risk, to advocate for and raise awareness about conflict and disaster prevention. With an increase in cultural heritage being abused for political propaganda and destroyed to serve certain agendas, the protection of cultural heritage has never been more important.

Next to the possible destruction of cultural heritage through war and occupation, the illicit traffic of cultural objects is also a threat to the survival of cultural heritage. In times of upheaval and confusion, cultural heritage can be displaced or illegally sold.

IFLA is working together with UNESCO and the International Committee of the Blue Shield to prevent this from happening and ensure that (physical) cultural heritage remains in safe conditions in their place of origin.

IFLA sets out to monitor disaster areas around the globe and help with preservation as well as reconstruction once disasters (natural and man-made) have happened.

Conservation, Cooperation, Cultural heritage, Preservation

Last update: 13 June 2017

Latest News

Libraries overcome barriers to access to culture

In the light of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the European Parliament has passed a resolution on analysis on access to culture in the European Union. This briefing offers a number of key quotes and arguments from which libraries and library associations can use in their advocacy around the importance of libraries in overcoming barriers to access to culture.

10 July 2018 | Advocacy, Cultural heritage, Advocacy, Cultural heritage, European Parliament, culture, access

Cultural Heritage in Europe: linking past and future

Half way through the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) IFLA attended the high-level conference on Europe’s shared history and values. The conference took place at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 26 June 2018.

28 June 2018 | Cultural heritage, Advocacy, European Parliament, European Year of Cultural Heritage

Syrian experts attend workshop at the PAC Regional Centre for Asia

The PAC Regional Centre for Asia at the National Diet Library (NDL) of Japan is one of the sixteen IFLA PAC Centres that are spread all over the globe. The PAC Centres have a wide range of expertise concerning preservation and conservation as well as safeguarding cultural heritage. The PAC Regional Centre for Asia is specialised in paper conservation and digitization, it was this expertise that was shared with experts from Syria.

20 June 2018 | PAC (Preservation and Conservation), Preservation, Japan