Washington, DC, August 22, 2017—The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Qatar National Library (QNL) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation to develop, enhance, and make available digitized cultural heritage content through the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME).
The DLME is a collaborative effort that aspires to create a sustainable digital environment for the cultural heritage of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while providing an array of applications, tools, and descriptions that enrich the content, facilitate sophisticated inquiry, and engage with the widest possible community of practice.
The CLIR-QNL MoU aims to foster future collaboration in raising awareness and advancing understanding of the MENA region’s cultural heritage and supporting its preservation by creating sustainable, long-term information environments for preservation of and access to cultural heritage. In addition, the MoU will support work to respond to the destruction of cultural heritage, educate a worldwide audience, and promote respect for the historical record. The organizations will achieve this through the activation of likeminded populations and outreach activities (locally, regionally, and internationally), alongside the development of partnerships with content-rich institutions and models for international cooperation.
“Our partnership with Qatar National Library marks a pivotal turn for the Digital Library of the Middle East,” said CLIR President Charles Henry. “The technical expertise, content, and insight that QNL brings to this project are extraordinary and we are delighted to work in this shared vision with the library’s distinguished staff and leadership who will contribute integrally to the success of the project.”
QNL Executive Director Sohair Wastawy said, “We are delighted to be a founding member of the DLME and to be a partner with CLIR. The history of the Middle East is a cornerstone of the history of civilization and preserving it is not only a cultural mandate but also an obligation we have toward future generations.”
Peter Herdrich, co-founder of The Antiquities Coalition, a core DLME founder, said, “Qatar National Library is an unrivaled international partner for the Digital Library of the Middle East. We share the goal of designing and implementing solutions and creating a cooperative community in the MENA region in service to the cultural record. This is an exciting development.”
For more information about the Digital Library of the Middle East, please visit: https://dlme.clir.org/ .
CLIR (www.clir.org) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. CLIR promotes forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good. Among CLIR’s programs is the Digital Library Federation (DLF; www.diglib.org), an international network of member institutions and robust community of practice advancing research, learning, social justice, and the public good through digital library technologies.
About the Qatar National Library
Vision: “To be one of the world’s preeminent centers of learning, research, and culture; a guardian of the region’s heritage; and an institution that promotes discovery and the nourishment of the human spirit.”
Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, acts as a steward of Qatar’s national heritage by collecting, preserving and making available the country’s recorded history. In its role as a research library with a preeminent heritage collection, QNL fosters and promotes greater global insight into the history and culture of the Gulf region. As a public library, QNL provides equal access for all Qatari residents to an environment that supports creativity, independent decision-making and cultural development. Through all its functions, QNL provides leadership to the country’s library and cultural heritage sector.
QNL also supports Qatar’s transition from a reliance on natural resources to become a diversified and sustainable economy by providing support to students, researchers, and the public to promote life-long learning and empower individuals and communities for a better future. The QNL project was announced on 19 November 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, and the library will open its doors for the first time on November 7, 2017.
Qatar National Library Media Contacts:
Gihan M. Baraka
Telephone: +974 4454 6034
Public and Media Relations Specialist
Telephone: +974 6677 3570