Millions of manuscripts are preserved in Mediterranean countries’ libraries and archives, most of which are in a problematical state of conservation as a result of the deterioration of materials, the lack of care, and the absence of preventive conservation strategies. In addition, the illicit traffic of these objects is constantly growing to the benefit of a criminal and prosperous market. The richness and variety of these manuscripts is invaluable, as they represent the written elements of both vernacular and ancient languages on which Mediterranean civilisations are founded. Today, this linguistic diversity is threatened by the omnipresence of western media, which is unfavourable to the flourishing of vernacular languages and which risk disappearing in the short term, as a result.
The MANUMED II project intends to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of the written heritage, and its corollary, language, as an intangible heritage. It will also give priority to training in the field of cultural heritage and will particularly focus on involving the youth in the development of contemporary solutions, on paying more attention to national and minority languages in the region, and on supporting craftsmen who work in the domain of manuscripts and are still practicing ancestral techniques. A shared Virtual Library of the Mediterranean, multi-lingual, multi-alphabetical, written and acoustic, will also be implemented within this project.
The project’s partnership is based on previous collaboration between its member institutions.