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Home > The Patrimony of All Mankind

The Patrimony of All Mankind:
   The Memory of the World Register
   & The National Recording Registry

On October 9, 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inducted Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's fonds of phonautograms and manuscripts onto its Memory of the World Register.* This follows the United States Library of Congress' induction of the phonautograms onto its National Recording Registry on April 6, 2011.

The sound recordings of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville are recognized as Humanity's First Recordings of Its Own Voice and celebrated as the patrimony of all mankind.

In his lifetime Scott de Martinville saw public recognition of his invention of sound recording eclipsed by Edison's phonograph. In his will he asked his children and grandchildren to ensure that his name and accomplishments not be forgotten. We at First Sounds are pleased to have helped honor his request. We are gratified that the National Recording Preservation Board, the Librarian of Congress, and UNESCO have acknowledged his accomplishments on these international stages.

* In March 2014, First Sounds and ARSC nominated "Humanity's First Recordings of its Own Voice: The Phonautograms of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville" for inscription in UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of the World Register. Our nomination was supported by all four French institutions entrusted with these documents: the Académie des sciences, the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI), the Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale (SEIN), and the library of the Institut de France.