A collection of documents formally known as “Official Records of Macau during the Qing Dynasty (1693-1886)” has been listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) said in a statement on Tuesday.
In Portuguese, the records are known as “Chapas Sínicas” (“Chinese plates”). In Chinese, the records are known as “Chinese documents”.
The IC statement came after UNESCO announced on Monday that it has recommended 78 new nominations on its international register. The recommendations included the “Chapas Sínicas”, which had been jointly nominated by the Portuguese Republic and People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Macau Archives under the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Portugal’s National Archive of Torre do Tombo were involved in the nomination process, according to the IC statement.
The statement underlined that the “Chapas Sínicas” comprise 3,600 documents, including over 1,500 official letters written in Chinese, five books of Portuguese translated copies of the letters kept by Macau’s “Leal Senado” (“Loyal Senate” – the former name of Macau’s city hall) and four packets of miscellaneous documents.
The statement says that the collection, which originates from the original archives of the “Leal Senado”, contains first-hand information of great value for the study of Macau’s history and the history of East-West relations in the 19th century.
The statement also said that a series of exhibitions of documents from the collection will be held in Macau and Lisbon 2018 and 2019, when commemorative stamps will be issued in both cities.
According to UNESCO’s official website, the Memory of the World Programme was established in 1992 after growing awareness of the parlous state of the preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world.