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SHA's speech on the "Hong Kong Memory" project

    Following is a speech (English translation) by Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho at a media briefing today (February 14) after the "Hong Kong Memory" project advisory committee informal meeting at Hong Kong Central Library:

Mr Chan, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     To begin with, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for the generous donation of $80 million for sponsorship of the development cost of the "Hong Kong Memory" project.

     It is a joint project of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It aims to establish a digital repository on the Internet for the collection, preservation, presentation and dissemination of Hong Kong's unique historical and cultural heritage.

     The Chief Executive, in his 2006-07 Policy Agenda, vowed to set up a central web-based "Hong Kong Memory" as one of his new initiatives to enlighten people about our rich culture. And as Secretary for Home Affairs, I started to initiate the relevant project as early as 2002 when I first took up the post.

     The Home Affairs Bureau launched the first phase of the consultation on the heritage conservation policy in early 2004. And in the middle of the year, to beef up our work on the protection of intangible cultural heritage, I asked LCSD to work on the "Hong Kong Memory" project. The department commissioned a feasibility study in January, 2005. In March that year, LCSD applied funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to launch the project, and the study report, which was completed in mid-2005, was also forwarded to HKJC for reference.

     The "Hong Kong Memory" project will provide free and open access, through the multimedia website, to digital collections of information, stories, items and materials that reflect the collective memory of Hong Kong people, which will be classified, catalogued, and systematically arranged to facilitate convenient search, thus providing unrestricted access to the treasure trove of Hong Kong's historical and cultural heritage.

     We envisage that the community will actively participate in the project, be they scholars, writers, students, historians, media people, archaeologists, archivists, literati, researchers and general public, through donation of manuscripts, information sharing, collaborative partnership to enrich the Hong Kong Memory collections, thus strengthening the sense of belonging and cohesiveness of the Hong Kong people and an appreciation in Hong Kong's historical and cultural heritage, enhancing cultural literacy which will be beneficial for Hong Kong to becoming an International Cultural Metropolis in the long term.

     Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:35


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