Paper Abstract: Cultural heritage preservation calls for thinking beyond the limits that we usually take for granted when dealing with historical collections. While considering such activity as solely aimed at preserving the past, we tend to forget its multiple and wider meanings from a social point of view.
Activities aiming at preserving the physical integrity of collections and the permanence of texts, such as preventive conservation, conservation treatments, and digital preservation, are part of a wider challenge that engages actively with education and social development. The preservation of Arabic-script manuscripts in Africa, both in their library and archive value, has to be considered from a broader perspective: this speech will address the role of individuals in charge of collections care and transmission not only from the point of view of cultural heritage preservation, but also for their implications for communities – both local and international.
Preservation and conservation intertwine with digitization as part of a long-term safeguard strategy that does not look to the past, but to the future, and can actively contribute to sustainable development.
The speech will address multiple meanings and challenges linked to written cultural heritage preservation, both physical and digital, and how the role of individuals in charge of collections care has to be considered “beyond the library’s door”.