British Library to digitise more than 1 million documents for the QNL as Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), Qatar National Library (QNL) and the British Library partnering for an ultra modern library in Doha. Qatar Foundation and the British Library have together announced the second phase of their ongoing partnership to make the history of the Gulf more accessible within the newly built Qatar National Library building within the QF Education City campus.
The collaboration lasting until December 2018, planned this second phase that follows on from the initial partnership announcement of 2012. This aims to raise awareness of Gulf and Middle Eastern history as well as to significantly enhance current understanding of the Islamic world, Arab culture and the Gulf’s regional history.
It will also mean the digitisation of no less of 1,125,000 pages of rare, historical documents that will be displayed to the public online through Qatar Digital Library focusing on historical documents from Britain’s Indian Office Archive including papers of political and military records, letters, photographs, maps and medieval manuscripts relating to Gulf and Arab regional history.
Saad Al Muhannadi, president of Qatar Foundation, said: “This planned new material will preserve and add rich new insights into the history of Qatar, the Gulf region and Arab and Islamic history and culture. This project is a testament to the commitment of QF to fostering greater understanding of Qatar’s heritage, and to sharing this precious collection of resources with the whole world.”
Dr Claudia Lux, project director of QNL, added: “The aim of this partnership is to explore, and raise awareness about the history of the Gulf and the wider region while creating one of the world’s most ambitious and accessible resources for studies into Gulf History and Arab Islamic Sciences.”
Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library, said: “Extending our relationship with the Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Library now enables us to know to convert the huge wealth of stored knowledge at the British Library into shared knowledge that is accessible anywhere in the world.”
Al Muhannadi emphasizing QF’s mission, said its role is to notably “foster a progressive, engaged society that is appreciative of its heritage and traditions”.
The Qatar Digital Library should add an additional 970,000 pages from the India Office Records dating from the mid-18th century to 1951 as well as historical maps and photographs to include a further 56,000 pages of Arab Islamic Sciences manuscripts, and approximately 100,000 pages from private papers.