The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today released a prototype proof of concept for the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME). The prototype was developed in partnership with the Antiquities Coalition, Qatar National Library, and Stanford Libraries, and in service to and collaboration with institutional and individual collaborators throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region.
Created with funding from the Whiting Foundation, the current prototype includes some 135,000 objects. The DLME will ultimately encompass text, video, photographs, archives, manuscripts, 3-D data, and maps illuminating the region’s history over 12 millennia, curated by scholars, specialists, and members of the living and vital cultures it represents. The platform, developed by Stanford Libraries, allows for the display of information in Romanized or Arabic forms.
In conjunction with the launch, sample exhibits and case studies are being curated for the website. The first planned exhibits focus on Egyptian and Near Eastern female figurines, Qatar’s maritime history and heritage, and on how the DLME supports cultural heritage preservation. The case study recounts Egyptologist Jacco Dieleman’s discovery, made using the prototype, of papyrus fragments that had not been indexed in other papyrological resources, and illustrates the kind of discovery that the DLME hopes to reveal for users around the world.
The prototype builds on results from an earlier planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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