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Manumed II

Of manuscripts and men

From 13.12.08 To 13.05.13
Budget€ 1.740.841
URLwww.manumed.org
Coordinator
Countries involved Algeria, Belgium, East Jerusalem, Egypt, France
Project sheet

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.

  • Awareness-raising of the value and diversity of cultural heritage among the populations
  • Preservation and enhancement of the cultural diversity of Mediterranean languages and manuscripts
  • Increase knowledge and conservation of book collections in Maghreb and Mashreq countries
  • Promotion of book craftsmen of the Mediterranean region involved in books work and enhancement of their activities within a perspective of sustainable development
  • Archives, Audiovisuals & Manuscripts
  • A virtual library of the Mediterranean
  • A platform for collaborative work between researchers and university professors from all Mediterranean countries
  • Radio and TV broadcasts on traditional craftsmen of book and the fight against illicit traffic of manuscripts in the Mediterranean region
  • Multilingual books, DVD’s and articles based on the broadcasts
  • Adoption of a book patronage by European and Mediterranean citizens
  • A competition addressed to the Mediterranean youth for the creation of a script for a videogame based on the history of libraries
  • Twinning of North and south universities in order to valorise the cooperation and the research on manuscripts and languages
  • A label of living treasures of the Mediterranean

Interview with Carol Giordano, “Manumed – of manuscripts and men project”

An exceptional linguistic diversity and a very much alive ancestral know-how testify to the cultural richness of the Mediterranean and its multiple interactions throughout the centuries. This has been transmitted to us through an extraordinary legacy: the manuscript. In spite of the million specimens preserved in libraries and Mediterranean archives, this heritage is at risk, and the threat to the survival of traditional craftsmen and techniques of production and conservation, will entail its loss.

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