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Georgian Manuscripts Featured in UNESCO Memory of World Register

By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, January 10
A few out of the most important Georgian manuscripts, featured by UNESCO, will be exhibited at the National Archives of Georgia from January 10 till February 11.

The month-long exhibition is free of charge and presents manuscripts from the 4th century AD to the late medieval era. The society will be given a chance to acquaint with the Georgian documents that were granted the world heritage status.

Among the manuscripts is the “Description of the Kingdom of Georgia” and the Geographical Atlas of Vakhushti Bagrationi (inscribed in 2013). Manuscripts and geographical atlas represent the first complete geographical description of Georgia's historical territory from the ancient period till the 40s of the 18th century. This work contains the history of separate kingdoms of Georgia, their geographical descriptions and maps. The maps played a crucial role in studying the geography and contributed greatly to the cartographical description of Caucasus.

The Oldest Manuscripts Preserved at the National Archives of Georgia, inscribed in 2015, study different stages of the history of Georgia and the earliest aspect of the Byzantine culture. All genres of Georgian secular or ecclesiastical literature are presented at the collection.

The Georgian Gospel-Palimpsest, kept in the National Archives of Georgia, has been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in late 2017. It consists of a three layered palimpsest of 183 sheets in Georgian. Different layers are written in different Georgian scripts (Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli).

In 2015, within the framework of the joint pilot project of the program Lazarus Project and Early Medieval Electronic library (EMEL), a digital version of several pages of the manuscript was created using the technology of spectral photography.

The Memory of the World Register lists documentary heritage that has been recommended by the International Advisory Committee and endorsed by the Director-General of UNESCO. Documentary heritage is in accordance with the selection standard regarding its world significance and outstanding universal value.

Nominations for the Register may be submitted by any person or organization, including governments and NGOs.