Qatar Foundation has launched the project to build the new Qatar National Library (QNL). The announcement was made by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, at a prestigious multi-media event held at the Student Center of Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
Designed by the world famous architect Rem Koolhaas, the new QNL will officially open in late 2014.
The launch of QNL coincided with the 50th anniversary of Dar-al-Kutub, the Gulf Region’s first national library, which opened in Doha in 1962.
As a founding partner of the World Digital Library, QNL will provide innovative facilities for exploring interaction between devices and human beings to promote new ways of learning.
QNL will operate a Qatar Reference Service and provide access to over 60 online databases and websites and will have over 300 public computers, wifi and multi-media production studios. QNL will partner with British Library to digitize 500,000 records relating to Qatar. An ‘eHub’ will make millions of electronic books and documents accessible at the touch of a fingertip, and it will not even be necessary to visit the library in person, as the archive will be accessible remotely through a mobile phone or other handheld device.
In addition to providing access to the significant digital heritage collection about Qatar, QNL will also introduce the Gulf and Arab Science online portal, which is being developed in co-operation with prestigious international partners. The platform will be launched using digitized material from the British Library’s Indian Office Archive, as well as its famous oriental manuscripts.
Once complete, the portal will become a key cultural asset of Qatar, open to researchers from around the world, students of all classes, and Qatari families researching their own rich cultural histories.