Thanks to its various registers, Mexico is in first place in America of the Memory of the World Programme and the sixth in the world. It has 44 national items registered, 18 regional items registered and 12 international items registered, from which the Archivo General de la Nación (Mexican general archives) preserves three: Pictographs from the XVI to the XVIII century of the archives’ collection (Maps, drawings and artwork), the Techaloyan de Cuajimalpa Codex and the Marquesado del Valle de Oaxaca Codex.
The Memory of the World Register is a list that has been approved by the International Advisory Committee and ratified by the Director-General of UNESCO, as an element that meets the selection criteria of the documentary heritage considered of global importance.
UNESCO established the Memory of the World Programme in 1992. Impetus came originally from a growing awareness of the perilous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world. War and social upheaval, as well as severe lack of resources, have worsened problems which have existed for centuries.
Significant collections worldwide have suffered a variety of fates. Looting and dispersal, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate housing and funding have all played a part. Much has vanished forever; much is endangered.