- 1942 - 1945 (Creation)
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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 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.
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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.
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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.
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- 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.