This achievement is the result of the teamwork of the José María Arboleda Llorente Historical Research Center.
At the XXIII meeting of the Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean of the UNESCO Memory of the World program (Mowlac), which took place on November 27 and 28, in Santiago, Chile, the section Colony of the Old Central Archive of Cauca, guarded by the José María Arboleda Llorente Historical Research Center of the University of Cauca, was recognized among the 23 new inscriptions.
The Colonia section constitutes a documentary heritage of incalculable value for the study of the colonial period, providing information on the political, administrative and judicial apparatus that the Spanish empire exercised in the then Governorate of Popayán, which covered 70% of the current Colombian territory, in which addressed judicial, civil, ecclesiastical, and military matters, among others.
The Memory of the World program was created by UNESCO in 1992, with the aim of promoting the conservation and access to the documentary heritage of humanity, given that, due to various factors such as lack of resources, looting, wars and illegal trade, Documentary heritage becomes material that is sensitive to being destroyed or lost and this is where the imperative need to safeguard it lies.
Precisely to safeguard this documentary relic, the University of Cauca has the José María Arboleda Llorente Historical Research Centerhe most important archive at the regional level and the second at the national levelnot only because of the age of its documents, but also because of the volume, the continuity of the information and the degree of cataloging thereof, in whose collection those interested can consult historical information about Popayán, Cauca and other municipalities and departments of the country.
This Center, attached to the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, was established in 1970, based on the documents from the old Central Archive of Cauca, rescued and cataloged by the Payanese historian José María Arboleda Llorente, from 1928 until his death. in 1969.
For her part, the director of the Historical Research Center, Beatriz Eugenia Quintero Espinosa, said: “I think now we are going to have to say the house where the University of Cauca guards part of the world‘s memory”. He highlighted the efforts of the work team that made the Old Central Archive of Cauca Fund become part of the documentary heritage of humanity and encouraged citizens to explore the historical archives, which have immense potential to answer numerous questions and contribute to the construction of a collective memory that strengthens society.