Safeguarding Without a Record? The Digital Inventories of Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • Marta Severo


For centuries, cultural-heritage protection systems have been based on written inventories that functioned as tools with which to record heritage objects. Yet the new category of “intangible cultural heritage,” created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in its 2003 Convention, is an exception within such a registration and classification framework. The Convention, which includes in this category all living cultural practices, introduces the need to build a new system of protection based on a dynamic and inclusive principle that rejects any kind of hierarchy or fossilization. The implementation of this democratic ideal of safeguarding raises numerous paradoxes. Is it really possible to build a protection system with no record? This chapter focuses on the role that digital media can play in the resolution of this paradoxes.



This work was supported by the Labex Les passés dans le présent (Investissements d’avenir, réf. ANR-11-LABX-0026-01).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Paris NanterreParisFrance

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