During participation at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) 20th annual conference recently, experts from Qatar National Library (QNL) highlighted work currently underway to improve access to historical items following its unique collaboration with The British Library.
Librarians, researchers and educators from around the world, who work in the fields of knowledge acquisition, organization and dissemination, participated in the three day conference in Doha, sharing and exchanging ideas about the overall theme of ‘Enhancing in Digital Knowledge Society’s Information Needs’.
A senior delegation from QNL have also attended the event to reveal the ground-breaking work being carried out by the library to widen access to archive material and promote greater understanding of Arab and Islamic cultural heritage and history of the Gulf region.
The partnership between QNL and The British Library involves digitising over 500,000 pages of archival items from the India Office Records, covering almost 200 years between 1763 and 1951. The project will also see 500 maps, charts and plans of the Gulf, in addition to 300 sound recordings highlighting the evolution of traditional Arab music made available in electronic form.
QNL was announced in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. The library provides free access for students, educators, researchers, and the wider community in Qatar.Whilst the building is under construction, its many resources are already available online to the public, ranging from popular, newly published material to historic and rare documents.
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