Application Process 2019

UK Memory of the World Register



Thank you for considering a nomination to the UK National Register for UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme. The Memory of the World Programme protects the collective memory of the peoples of the world. The UK Memory of the World register contains the country’s most important memories told through its prized documents, photographs, film, audio, and letters. UNESCO protects these documents as they of vital importance in preserving cultural identities, in bridging the past and the present and in shaping the future.

Discover the UK Archive
The 2019 Process

The Nomination Process

Thank you for considering a nomination entry to the UK National Register for UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme. The current round of nominations is open until Friday 31 January 2020. If you are interested in applying for the UK Memory of the World Register in 2019, please follow the process below and ensure you read the guidelines before applying.

The Process

The call for nominations is biennial. For the 2020 round, the nomination process is open from 12 June 2019 until the submission deadline on 31 January 2020. The final decisions are shared privately with nominators on 1 May 2020, before a public awards ceremony to announce the newly inscribed collections in June 2020. Nominations submitted after 31 January will not be considered.


When preparing your nomination you should consult the following documents:



A handbook which provides advice and guidance on completing the nomination form and information about the assessment criteria. It is highly recommended that you read this in advance of submitting a nomination form or contacting the Committee.

Read the Handbook



Every nomination must demonstrate that the heritage is authentic (i.e. it is what it claims to be) and significant (i.e. its loss would constitute a major impoverishment of the UK’s heritage).The UK Memory of the World Committee has written a guide for assessing significance in documentary heritage, ‘Seeking significance: A practical guide to identifying and articulating significance in documentary heritage’ While it is written for anyone who is seeking to express the significance of documentary heritage, it may also be a useful practical guide in writing a nomination to the UK Memory of the World Archive.

Read the Report



Early engagement with the UK Memory of the World Committee is essential to discuss eligibility. Please email: Matthew McMurray (Secretary) [email protected] and Rachel Hosker (Chairman) [email protected] at your earliest convenience.




To nominate any documentary heritage to the UK register you will need to complete a Nomination Form which you can download below. Comprehensive guidance on completing the form is available in the Handbook which we strongly recommend you read before submitting your nomination (see the preparation tab).

Download the nomination form

There is no word limit for nominations or a limit on the amount of supplementary information that can be provided. However, it is suggested that a nomination should be no longer than eleven A4 pages, excluding attachments, the Lodgment and the Assignation of Rights. Please ensure that the nomination clearly states why the nominated heritage is of outstanding significance to the UK. Failure to clearly articulate this significance is often a cause for an unsuccessful nomination.


Submission is preferred in electronic format (including all attachments). Please send electronic submissions to the Secretary of the UK Memory of the World Committee, Matthew McMurray ([email protected]).


All nominations are assessed by the UK Memory of the World Committee, which comprises experts on the management and use of documentary heritage, drawn from across the UK. A list of the Committee members is available here:

See the Committee Members

Each nomination is assessed on the merit of the submitted form and supporting documentation. In certain cases the Committee may seek external peer review to help support the Committee’s final decision.

All documents are signed off by the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport..


The UK’s Memory of the World Archive in numbers


Two Registers:
International and National


The International Memory of the World Register recognises documentary heritage of global significance and includes documents such as the Magna Carta. It inspires both nations and regions to identify, list and preserve their respective documentary heritage for the collective memory of humankind. Note: the International MOW Programme is currently suspended until further notice pending review.


The UK Memory of the World Register honours documentary heritage of national and regional significance and includes documents such as the Death Warrant of King Charles I. This invaluable archive is a remarkable and rich insight into a small island’s past and mark on the world. This is Britain’s collective memory.


Why apply to the UK Register?

A UNESCO inscription is a mark of quality for documentary heritage. Previously successful applicants have used the UNESCO Memory of the World inscription for funding applications that draw attention to the value of the heritage, or with stakeholders to gain support for the development of their wider heritage collections.


Discover our other designations