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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Online Resource: Qatar Digital Library

The Qatar Digital Library (QDL) http://www.qdl.qa is making a digital archive featuring the cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region freely available online for the first time. It includes archives, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more, complete with contextualized explanatory notes and links, in both English and Arabic.

The QDL is a partnership among the Qatar Foundation, the Qatar National Library and The British Library. The first phase of the Partnership began in 2012, with the digitization of a wide range of content from the British Library’s collections.  By the end of 2014, some 500,000 images were available and more content is being added all the time. 

Current highlights include:

  • India Office Records that span the period 1763–1951, comprising files from the Bushire Political Residency Records and the Bahrain Agency Records
  • J. G. Lorimer’s Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf , Oman and Central Arabia (1908, 1915), a classic introduction to the history of the Gulf
  • 500 maps, charts and plans of the Persian Gulf and the wider region
  • The Private papers of Sir Lewis Pelly, Political Resident in the Persian Gulf between 1862 and 1872
  • Arabic Scientific Manuscripts from the British Library’s Manuscripts Collections, covering topics such as medicine, mathematics, astronomy and engineering
  • A selection of photographs, postcards and other printed objects as well as sketches, drawings and watercolours; etchings, engravings and illustrations
  • A selection of audio collection materials including 200 shellac discs recorded in Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq between 1920 and 1940

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