Qatar National Library (QNL) is participating in the five-day International Council on Archives (ICA) Congress Abu Dhabi 2023, which ends on 13 October.
The congress has been held every four years since its inaugural session in 1950 and is globally recognized as the most important forum for professionals, institutions, and industries engaged with archives, records, and information management.
As one of the region’s leading entities in this field, QNL has much to contribute at major archiving conferences, and Abeer Al Kuwari, Director of Research and Learning Services at Qatar National Library, is proud of the role the Library is playing in advancing archiving in the region. She said: “QNL is delighted to be participating in this event, as it provides a perfect opportunity to share innovative ideas and research with other experts. The theme of this year’s congress is ‘Enriching Knowledge Societies’, and it has been fascinating to listen to professionals and practitioners from different working environments, and to share ideas with them.”
Exchanging insights and visions at major conferences is an important part of the Library’s journey as it seeks to become one of the world’s preeminent centers of learning, research and culture, and a guardian of the region’s heritage.
Archiving is experiencing a transformation, thanks to technological advances, and the congress was therefore invaluable to Qatar National Library’s Heritage Library team, which is playing a key role in ensuring the Library captures the best of both worlds and makes use of modern technology to embrace the present and the future, while preserving the country’s heritage.
QNL’s Digital Repository, which manages and stores digital content, has 13.1 million digitized pages, 22,580 books, 2,505 image albums, 1,642 manuscripts, 138 periodicals, 3,116 newspapers, 1,295 maps, and 401 posters.
Utilizing cutting-edge digitization technologies, it boasts a vast collection of more than 14 million pages of history on the Library’s website (https://www.qnl.qa/en), featuring diverse local and international digitization projects.
Additionally, Qatar Digital Library features a vast archive of cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region freely available online. This includes archives, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more, complete with contextualized explanatory notes and links, in both English and Arabic.
Qatar National Library’s Conservation Lab, which serves as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Preservation and Conservation Center (IFLA PAC) for Arab Countries and the Middle East, was also represented at the congress.
The Conservation Lab helps to counter trafficking and has a team of highly trained international experts, with laboratories equipped with world-class technology. These are dedicated to preserving the region’s cultural heritage for future generations, as books and manuscripts are inherently susceptible to deterioration from both natural and external causes. Its work includes holding conservation workshops and attracting participants from countries across the MENA region.