The State Archives and Records Administration held a ceremony on Thursday to declare the conclusion of a project focused on conserving Nguyen Dynasty ‘moc ban’ (woodblocks), a UNESCO-recognized documentary heritage item, at the National Archives Center IV in Lam Dong Province, southern Vietnam.
Commencing in July 2020, the project was aimed at conserving 500 deteriorated woodblock plates at the National Archives Center IV.
The initiative, which received more than US$88,000 in funding from the United States Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), has now been completed.
Following the approval of the AFCP grant in July 2020, a technical team conducted a thorough study and assessment of the level of damage sustained by the degraded woodblocks.
|Newly-treated Nguyen Dynasty woodblock plates are conserved at the National Archives Center IV in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2023. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
The evaluation showed that approximately 5,000 woodblock plates had suffered damage as a result of historical factors, the natural aging process, the tropical climate, wars, floods, as well as fungal and insect activities over the centuries.
From January to the end of August 2021, the team implemented conservation treatment on the decaying woodblocks, employing techniques used in developed nations such as Japan, South Korea, and France.
The National Archives Center IV houses a collection of 34,555 woodblock plates engraved with Chinese characters.
|U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (L) points at Nguyen Dynasty woodblock plates conserved at the National Archives Center IV in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2023. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
These Nguyen Dynasty woodblocks contain a vast and varied content, offering insights into all facets of Vietnamese society during that era.
Primarily utilized for book printing in Vietnam from the 19th to the early 20th century, they serve as a valuable historical resource.
|U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (L, 2nd) watches Nguyen Dynasty woodblock plates conserved at the National Archives Center IV in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam, May 25, 2023. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre|
During Thursday’s ceremony, Marc Knapper, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, noted that the preservation of cultural heritage is just one aspect of the extensive cooperation between the two nations.
He mentioned that the United States has provided funding for a total of 16 projects in this realm in Vietnam since 2001, amounting to a combined value surpassing $1.2 million.
Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!