Qatar National Library booth at QITCOM 2014
During participation at the QITCOM 2014 Conference and Exhibition this week, experts from Qatar National Library (QNL) showcased the state-of-the-art technology that is driving the preservation and digitisation of valuable Qatari, Arab and Islamic historical records.
The Library is a gold sponsor of the ictQatar-backed event, where visitors to its exhibition booth, including the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, witnessed a live demonstration of the digitisation process where QNL's experts presented how they use state-of-the-art technology to preserve, conserve and provide the nation’s heritage for future generations.
The nine-stage process started with an explanation about how the library selects the most relevant books and manuscripts to undergo the preservation process. The experts then demonstrated how fragile and damaged items are restored and conserved, before taking visitors through the process that scans and saves the items for the historical record.
Participants were fascinated with the processes the QNL experts use in order to enhance and standardise images and text, before entering a new item in the library’s digital catalogue.
QNL's preservation and digitisation efforts will enable modern day users to easily read and perform computer search functions that assist academic research or even simple enjoyment.
The techniques have so far been applied to preserve important collections from the nation’s history including valuable historic materials digitised by QNL that are accessible to the world through the World Digital Library.
Speaking after a demonstration of the operation, QNL’s Associate Director for Administration and Planning Saadi Al-Said remarked: “Qatar National Library’s goal is to preserve the nation’s heritage for future generations. The QNL's cutting edge efforts make knowledge from around the Arab and Gulf region available to modern users, and the technological advanced capacities enable the library to add additional useful information and context.”
He continued, “The end result is not just conservation of Qatar’s most historic manuscripts and books, but dissemination of this nation’s precious wisdom and learned experience on a scale that we have never seen before.”
These comments were echoed by QNL’s Project Director Dr Claudia Lux, who said: “QNL is proud to partner with QITCOM because we both share a commitment to opening up the opportunities of digital technology to the general public.”
“As well as interest in the fascinating process of digitisation, visitors to the QNL stand can register for free access to the library’s vast and diversified collection of online databases. Whilst QNL’s new building in Education City is under construction, its many resources are already available online to the public, ranging from the latest bestsellers, classical works, concerts, top academic journals and documentaries.” Dr Lux added.
QITCOM takes places from 26-28 May and visitors are free to visit QNL’s booth.
QNL was announced in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. Under the guidance of Qatar Foundation, the library provides free access for students, educators, researchers, and the wider community in Qatar.
In addition to book discussions, events and training sessions, QNL’s registered members can access a complete list of online resources by visiting http://www.qnl.qa/find-answers/online-resources. Anyone who lives in Qatar and has a valid Qatari ID/Residence Permit is eligible for free library registration. To register, please visit https://library.qnl.qa/selfreg.