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The USEK Library Partners with the British Library to Digitize Endangered Historical Newspapers in the Middle East (1895-1950)

The USEK Library is delighted to announce receiving a Major Grant from the Endangered Archives Programme funded by the British Library and supported by Arcadia.

An ongoing identity crisis in Lebanon: Arab or What? Digitizing early newspapers in the Middle East, 1895-1950 (EAP1434).

This project aims at preserving 24 848 Newspaper pages dating back to 1895 and showcasing the identity crisis of what’s called nowadays “Lebanon”: division amongst Lebanese in agreement with/against several nationalist’s movements, their views/activism towards independence in relation to religious affiliations. They reveal the diverse viewpoints of everyday life in Lebanon and surrounding Arab countries: geopolitical, social, educational, political economy... highlighting the dynamics of localities from social/anthropological perspectives.

This fragile collection was rescued and relocated to USEK library. It was spotted in poor and harsh handling, consequently, needing urgent curation to secure the voice of the past as a path towards leading the tomorrow.

The project entails digitizing and indexing the collection content, spreading awareness on protecting cultural heritage, as well as putting the material at the disposal of researchers and scholars worldwide.

Ms. Elham Abdallah, Assistant University Librarian at USEK library and the project lead acknowledged the support of the British library and stated: “this is a unique opportunity to safeguard the voice of the past and shed light on the ongoing identity crisis in Lebanon. The collection, which was jeopardized by auto-deterioration with time, deserves to be curated and disseminated globally. USEK Library is thrilled to be a part of this project. It is a testament to our commitment to preserving the past and making it accessible to all”.

Abdallah also acknowledged the professionalism of the Digitization and Metadata team and thanked them for bringing this exceptional project to fruition.

For more information about The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library, click here:
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