Inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World as a record of international cooperation in research and the dissemination of knowledge in the arts and sciences.
The Minute Books of the Siam Society from 1904 have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register as a record of international cooperation in research and the dissemination of knowledge in the arts and sciences.
The Memory of the World Register is like UNESCO’s World Heritage listing, but for documents rather than buildings.
The archive of Minute Books contain the official records of the Council meetings and the General Meetings of the Siam Society from 1904 to 2004 and beyond. It reflects the Society's system, process and outcome of work, its obstacles and challenges, the personalities and organizations contributing to its success and the scope of its work in a century of great international changes and development. It testifies to the continuous transactions and cooperation of an international and intellectual nature, among the many generations of people elected to carry out the work of the Siam Society over the long and eventful century.
The Society's motto, "Knowledge gives rise to Friendship", a fore-runner of the current concept of many regional and global organizations, sums up the idealism with which members joined their efforts in launching various projects in the past as well as in the present. This idealism is reflected in the records of their transactions, meeting after meeting, year after year in the past century. The minutes show that, over 100 years and more, the knowledge promoted and generated by the Society has expanded to cover diverse fields of interests, such as language and literature, law, history and archaeology, cultural expressions of ethnic groups including textiles, music, beliefs and indigenous knowledge, natural science and medicine, conservation and tourism. The friendship, through the Society's networks under its various sections, has also grown in quantity and quality, as well as in diversity, in terms of nationality, age groups, and fields of interest.
The UNESCO Memory of the World programme was started in 1992 “to preserve these recorded treasures of humanity and mobilize resources so that future generations can enjoy this legacy that is preserved in the major libraries, archives and museums across the globe.”
The register was begun in 1995, and now has around 400 items, including the Gutenberg Bible, Bayeux Tapestry, Magna Carta, and the film of the Wizard of Oz.
The Society’s Minute Books are the fourth entry on the register from Thailand. The others are: the King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription (listed in 2003); documents on King Chulalongkorn's transformation of Siam (2009); and the 1,431 inscriptions of Wat Pho (2011).
The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage