au Fong, Director of the Archives of Macao, has devoted several years of her life to a unique set of documents that form an important part of the city’s history. Now her efforts have been recognised by the United Nations. This May, the UNESCO Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP) voted on whether to register the collection Official Records of Macao during the Qing Dynasty (1693–1886), originally entitled Chapas Sinicas meaning “Chinese documents.” The collection was jointly nominated by the Archives of Macao and Portugal’s National Archive of Torre do Tombo where the original documents are stored. Under the recommendation of the MOWCAP Register Subcommittee, the inscription was unanimously approved by participating member states. This meeting, which was held in Hue, Vietnam,
LAU FONG Director of the Archives of Macao
inscribed 14 documentary heritage items from 10 countries on the Asia‑Pacific Register of the Memory of the World. “We have applied for the collection to be included in the Memory of the World Register,” says Director Lau, “[and] will learn of the decision next year from the Paris headquarters. [The records] are the history of Macao.” Chapas Sinicas comprises a total of 3,600 documents, including over 1,500 official letters written in Chinese, five volumes of letters translated into Portuguese and copied and maintained by the Loyal Senate (Leal Senado) of Macao and four packets of miscellaneous documents. The bulk of the collection consists of official correspondence between sub‑prefects of Macao, magistrates of Xiangshan and other Chinese officials and the procurators of the Loyal Senate.