More than half a million pages of documents detailing Arab history and culture are to be published online in both English and Arabic through a partnership with Qatar Foundation and the British Library, the groups have announced.
It will take three years and $14 million to digitize the catalogue of documents, which are housed in the British Library and include pages from the East India Company and medieval Arabic manuscripts on science and medicine.
Once completed, the documents will be available for free and include maps, photos, reports and correspondence relating to the world’s involvement in the Gulf.
According to the British Library press release:
Once live, the site will also offer users the opportunity to add their own Gulf-related stories and memories, enabling them to contribute to the online resource, whether by sharing images of mementos and old photographs, or by recounting the stories their grandparents once told them…Nineteenth and 20th century gazetteers – originally secret documents intended only for the eyes of senior officials – will provide a treasure trove of first-hand information, testifying to the critical strategic and commercial importance of the Gulf to European powers including Britain, France and Germany, which were actively involved in the region at that time.
QF has also been working to shore up online content in Arabic by tying up with Wikipedia.
Credit: Photo by Swamibu