- 1942 - 1945 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
The CAME archive group comprises altogether 23 units (volumes or boxes) of documents and records, corresponding to 2 linear meters (documents: CAME I-IX, 12 volumes ; records : CAME boxes I-XI); documents on microfiche: 72 AM 0001-0035, 113 fiches (in AG 11).
Name of creator
As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). The Second World War was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways and means to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal note. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.
By midsummer 1943, the work of the Conference grew to such an extent that re-organization was necessary. From the discussion about the re-organization of the Conference, it came out that one of the objects of the reconstituted CAME would be to consider plans for the formation of a permanent organization for promoting cooperation in educational matters in the post-war period. This organization should first be confined to the United Nations, and should then - after the war - grow into an international organization.
The decision of CAME to promote the foundation of a United Nations Organization for Educational and Cultural Reconstruction found a profound echo in the public. The League of Nations Union expressed the hope that the new organization would develop into a General International Organization for education which would provide the moral and intellectual basis of the peace.
The decision was taken to convene an extraordinary Conference, which would be attended by the participating countries on an equal footing with one vote for each, for the purpose of agreeing on the creation of an international organization that would take charge of educational and cultural concerns during the reconstruction period: the United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF).
The CAME documents and files came into the possession of UNESCO partly through the Preparatory Commission, partly the files were selected in London in 1948 by Dr. Jan Opocensky, then Member of the Executive Board and later Archivist of the Organisation (from 1949-1957). Dr. Opocensky’s reports to the Executive Board were issued as documents 9 Ex/12 and 11 EX/16, the corresponding decisions of the Board are numbered 8 EX/31:21, 9 EX/Dec.8 and 11 EX/Dec.14. In October 1948, the Executive Board of UNESCO decided to accept the deposit of the documents and files of the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME).
The CAMES files formed part of the British Council registry files – some papers in the files have the British Council stamp – because the secretariat of the conference was assured by the Council.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The first part of the fonds is mostly part of the British Council registry files.
The second part consists of files of the Science Commission and was later used by the Natural Science Section (NS) in the UNESCO Secretariat. The Natural Science Section (today Natural Science Sector) worked on the inventories of scientific equipment. As a result the second part of the files contains some correspondence of the Natural Science Section (for example file 6.32). Documents and records of the meetings are the most important part of the archives of CAME.
The documents were probably filed first together with the correspondence but later they were removed and bound in separate volumes. What is left in the correspondence files is mostly of a secondary nature but the files may contain useful additional information.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals expected.
System of arrangement
The first part of the files series still has the British Council file numbers.
The second part consists of files of the Science Commission which were later used by the Natural Science Section and they were given new numbers, according to which they are now arranged.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
- AG 2/1: CAME. List of documents and correspondence files (PRS.80/WS/2);
- AG 2/2: CAME. List of documents: An item by item list of documents and records in bound volumes: on the beginning of every volume, as a separate volume and on microfiche;
- AG 2/3: CAME. Index of documents: A detailed subject index to documents and records of the Conference and its Commission as a volume. Index has been edited on cards in 1949, typed in 1977 and reproduced on microfiche in 1990. The index refers to subject words, geographical and personal names; it also refers to the items on agenda under: (plenary) ‘Meetings’, ‘Executive Board’, and the names of Commissions and Committees. Names of persons appear also under the name of the country they are representing. Note that ‘UNESCO’ is filed after ‘United Kingdom’;
- AG 2/4: CAME. Card-index of documents (ARC.90/WS/1);
- AG 2/5: CAME. Analysis of Minutes and Documents.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Mylonas, Denis: La Genèse de l’Unesco: la Conférence des Ministres allies de l’Education (1942-1945). Bruxelles, Etablissements Emilie Bruylant, 1976. Bibliography and sources pp. 453-470.
The Conference officially worked from 1942 to 1945 but there are documents in the files from 1946 and occasionally up until October 1948.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Introduction of CAME. List of documents and correspondence files (PRS.80/WS/2), AG 2/1.