Qatar National Library hosted a group of five specialists in the field of heritage conservation from the Kingdom of Jordan from June 24 to 26 in its role as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Regional Centre for Preservation and Conservation for Arab Countries and the Middle East.
The participants represented Jordan’s Ministry of Culture, the National Library of Jordan, the Documentation and Manuscript Centre at the University of Jordan, and the Royal Jordanian Hashemite Documentation Centre.
The three-day capacity building programme was organised by the Unesco Office in Amman, Unesco Office in Doha and the IFLA Regional Preservation and Conservation Center at the library. It comprised workshops, tours of the library facilities and digitisation centre, and lectures by the library’s specialists, where participants were able to learn about the methods and procedures for the preservation and conservation of manuscripts and heritage items.
A series of lectures addressed risk management and assessment in libraries, while other topics included the theoretical and practical preservation methods for long-term digitised materials to make them available to researchers. Attendees also learned about the technology used to set up the Qatar Digital Library and how it helps in achieving the objectives of the library in the preservation of digital heritage.
Ahmad Khraisat, director of the Department of Technical Services at the Documentation and Manuscript Centre at the University of Jordan, said: “This is my first visit to Qatar and its national library, a pearl in the desert. I was impressed by the facilities and the international experience of the staff, and especially with their dedication to collecting manuscripts related to the history of the Arab and Islamic world.”
Hanan Daghmash, director of Heritage Authority at the Ministry of Culture, Jordan, said: “During the workshop, we acquired many rich experiences through a tour of the library facilities, the preservation and conservation centre, and digitisation centre. The workshop provided us with the unique experience of co-operating with a range of entities, including Unesco Amman, Unesco Doha and the library.”
The library is undertaking several projects to support the preservation of documentary heritage in the Arab region. An 18-month-long project in collaboration with Unesco focuses on identifying documentary heritage in Arab countries and offers support in capacity building and professional development to specialists working in this field.