Nguyen Dynasty royal documents’ value to be promoted (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has approved a project on preserving and promoting the cultural value of the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal administrative documents as documentary heritage of the UNESCO’s Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific.

The project aims at providing people, both home and abroad, with the valuable historical materials, serving historical studies, and contributing to building and safeguarding the country, as well as educating young generations on the nation’s historical and cultural traditions.

The first phase of the project, running from 2016 to 2020, will focus on repairing damaged documents, making reproductions, digitialising the documents, and holding seminars and training for those who are directly involved in the preserving process.
A Vietnamese-English bilingual table of contents will be established, while more publications on them will be introduced to the public both home and abroad.

Between 2021 and 2025, the project’s database and managing software are expected to be completed and upgraded in order to serve research purposes, while online introductory information of the royal documents will be presented in Chinese and French.

Under the project, the royal papers will also be introduced at schools, while cooperation and exchanges with foreign countries and organisations to promote the cultural value of the world-recognised documents will be promoted.

The collection is comprised of 85,000 documents bearing the seals of 11 Nguyen Kings (1802-1945), including royal edicts and decrees, reports to the King, and credentials.

They valuable historical materials reflect the political thoughts, guidelines and polices of the Vietnamese State in its internal and external relations. The documents also serve as an important legal basis for affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over its sea and islands. Among them, 18 were reports to the King providing detailed information on the Nguyen Dynasty’s exercise of sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

The documents also served as material sources for Nguyen Dynasty historians to write the Dai Nam Thap Luc (Veritable Records of Dai Nam) collection, which also proved Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos throughout its history.

Along with the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal administrative documents, the UNESCO has recognised other Vietnamese items as documentary heritage. They are the 82 stone steles in Hanoi’s Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (the Temple of Literature) honouring the names of 2,313 doctorate holders who passed the court exams during the Le – Mac Dynasty (16th – 18th centuries); woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty; and the collection of wooden blocks carved with Buddhist sutras at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Bac Giang province; the royal literature on Hue royal architecture”; and the Phuc Giang school woodblocks in central Ha Tinh province.-VNA