The largest collection of Old Frisian legal manuscripts, the Richthofenkolleksje, which is stored at Tresoar in Leeuwarden, has been added to UNESCO’s Dutch Memory of the World register.

The manuscripts of the Richthofenkolleksje date back to about 1100CE when the Frisians wrote down the legal rules. They had previously been passed down orally for centuries, but then were written in manuscripts. The historical and scientific value of the Richthofenkolleksje for the knowledge of medieval Frisian legal life and the history of the Frisian language and the landscape is invaluable.

UNESCO has had the global Memory of the World register since the early 1990s. It contains sixteen documentary heritage items with a (partial) Dutch background (as of Oct. 2022).

The Dutch Memory of the World Register was created to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the UNESCO program. It will contain exceptional documentary heritage with a strong Dutch image. Chairman Martin Berendse of the Dutch Memory of the World Committee: “With this register, we place a number of widely-varied collections and pieces in the spotlight. That helps us realize how special and diverse our Dutch documentary heritage is.”