Jerusalem Maps

When complete, Jerusalem Maps should include not only original maps of the city but also links to existing collections of both historical and contemporary maps of Jerusalem. Currently, the website “contains five maps based on a ten-year survey of the old city undertaken by Riwaq: The Centre for Architectural Conservation” which can be downloaded and used by researchers as long as properly referenced.Jerusalem Maps is another of the numerous resources accessible on Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies website, along with Families Interrupted, Al-Quds Archive, or Dreams of a Nations.

 

 

Afghanistan Digital Collections = دافغانستان دجیتال کلکسیونونه = گردآوردهای دیجیتال افغانستان

Since 2007, the University of Arizona Libraries has been collaborating with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU) to preserve, catalogue and digitize Afghan Literature from the Jihad Period (1979-1989). Initially supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) until 2012, the project is now jointly funded by the University of Arizona Libraries and ACKU.

The Afghanistan Digital Collections website includes unique documents in English, Pashto and Dari about Afghan history and culture, and the development of Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989. Among the important titles, readers will find:

  • Established in 1927, Anis is a newspaper in Dari and Pashto still currently published with approximately 2,500 copies circulated daily
  • Established in 1962, the Kabul Times was the first English language printed newspaper in Afghanistan. After 1978 and the Coup d’Etat, and its renaming New Kabul Times, the editorial line of the newspaper changed for Communist and anti-Western culture rhetoric
  • Published by the Government from 1932 to 1990, Da Afghanistan Kalanay -also known as Salnamah-i Afghanistan- is both an almanac and yearbook covering political and economic history and activities of the country. Texts are mostly in Dari/Persian and Pashto, but some issues have added titles and notes in English or French.

The website is in English.

Families Interrupted

Families Interrupted presents a series of anonymous but intimate portraits of Palestinian families living under the Israeli Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law. This Law, passed in 2003, prevents Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) married to Israeli citizens from obtaining a legal status in Israel, violating their right to a family life in Israel.

Photographs and related testimonies of Rawiya, Yara, or Kifah, provide invaluable insight into how the Israeli Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law makes their family life extremely difficult if not impossible, and give snapshots of their daily human existence.

Initially produced for Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Families Interrupted is one of the numerous resources available on Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies website. The photographs are taken by professional photographer Jenny Nyman, and the collection is curated by Rula Makram Khoury, art historian and art critic.

The website is trilingual English, Arabic, and Hebrew.

Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project (DILP)

Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project (DILP) was originally launched in 1995 by a registered Non Profit Organisation operating through the collaborative effort of volunteers based in many countries around the world. The goal of DILP is to digitize, and make available on the internet a growing number of materials related to the history, law, practices, and societies across the Muslim world or areas where Islam is present, with a particular focus on Twelver Shiism.

Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library includes over 1,800 textual, audio and video documents in twelve different languages (Arabic, Bengali, English, French, Gujarati, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish and Urdu). Audio materials can be downloaded in MP3, Video can be shared (vimeo), and textual documents can be saved in PDF, and printed.

Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project is not a scholarly website and should be used as such. If “all reasonable attempts have been made to prevent inauthentic information from being carried on this site” (…) Ahlul Bayt does not “guarantee the absolute authenticity of all of the data (…).”

The website interface is available in the same twelve languages mentioned above.

Bibliothèques d’Orient / مكتبات شرقية

Initiated in 2016, Bibliothèque d’Orient is a collaborative effort of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) and seven heritage and research libraries based in Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Istanbul, and Jerusalem. Bibliothèque d’Orient is an ever-growing digital collection that currently (Sept. 2017) includes over 7,000 textual documents, photographs, maps, etc. covering the Levant including Iraq and Arabia Petrea from 1798 (i.e. Expedition of Bonaparte to Egypt) to 1945.

The website is organized in seven  themes discoverable from the content page (above):

  • Crossroads includes photographs, travel accounts, travel books, maps, etc.
  • Communities includes documents relating to the everyday life of people and their traditions
  • Religions focuses on the religions present in the area as well as holy places
  • Knowledge gathers a variety of documents about libraries, research institutions, and languages studies
  • Politics is further divided in four themes: Wars and conflicts, Treaties and borders, Reforms, and Nationalisms
  • Imaginery focuses on literary sources
  • Personalities (incomplete section) presents people identified as important.

All documents are accessible full-text, and can be either read online, downloaded (PDF), printed, or shared. It is also possible to order art reproductions for a fee.

The website is available in Arabic, French, and English, but the online reader interface is only in French.

Hikmat

Hikmat is an academic blog about “Texts, Translations, Thoughts, Philosophy, Literature, Shi’i Islam, Urdu, Persian, Iran, India” active since October 2007.

The owner of the blog, who calls himself Mulla Sadra, is a British historian of intellectual life with particular interests in philosophy and literature, in both the past and contemporary Muslim world.

Hikmat publishes primarily academic books and articles reviews. But the blog also includes some research notes, and basic bibliographies. As such, it is a valuable research tool, and will appeal to anyone working on Shi’i and Iranian studies.

Open Access Newspaper Archive: القدس = al-Quds = al-Kouds (1908-1914)

Al-Quds open archive is the result of a collaboration between the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University (CPS)  and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah. Since its foundation in 2010, to honor the legacy of Professor Edward Said who taught at Columbia University for forty years, the Center for Palestine Studies has been involved numerous projects including the publication of the Jerusalem Quarterly, a film based project called Dreams of a Nation, and Al-Quds open archive.

Al-Quds open archive includes 392 issues published between 1908 and 1914. The Index allows visitors to access the scanned issues by number. Documents first display in a reader, and the PDF file opens when clicking on the pop-out icon located at the top right hand side of the document. Those high definition PDFs can be downloaded and printed.

The website is in English.

A user guide to the Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981

In 2017, the McGill Library acquired Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981, a database of Primary Source documents examining events such as the Arab-Israeli War, the Lebanese Civil War, and the Iranian Revolution. This collection of files from the United Kingdom Foreign Office (i.e. diplomatic correspondence, minutes, reports, political summaries and personality profiles) is a invaluable tool for researchers focusing on the history of the Middle East during the 1970s.

The Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981 is available through the McGill Library A-Z database list.

It includes three modules focusing on different time periods:

  1. 1971-1974: the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the Oil crisis
  2. 975-1978: the Lebanese civil war and the Camp David accords
  3. 1979-1981: the Iranian revolution and the Iran-Iraq war

An essay introducing this historical period by Professor Michael Gasper, including links to relevant documents within the collection, can be read here.

The Popular Searches page shows a list of most important people, places and topics covered by the documents. A simple click on any name or topic will lead to a list of documents in which they appear.

The collection can also be discovered through the gallery of maps, linking back to the original documents from which they come.

Dreams of a Nation

Started in the 1990’s, Dreams of a Nation is a Columbia University based archival project aiming at preserving and promoting Palestinian cinema. If the initial collection was only composed of films screened in courses taught at Columbia on Middle Eastern cinema, it has now grown to include hundreds of films, carefully described and indexed on the Dreams of a Nation website. Dreams of a Nation archive and database in this website were sponsored by Columbia University Middle East Institute, and facilitated by dedicated librarians. The website is now maintained by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University.

The DOAN archive can easily be explored by filmmakers or by titles indexed in alphabetical order.

Dreams of a Nation resulted in the organization of two Palestinian film festivals held in 2003 and 2204, and the publication of a book entitled Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema authored by Dr. Hamid Dabashi (Verso, 2006).

As described by Dr Hamid Dabashi, Dreams of a Nation is a work in progress “committed to two principle objectives:

  • expanding and preserving our archive with the goal of making it the largest collection of Palestinian cinema possible–feature, short, and documentary–and (2)
  • providing a solid database documenting Palestinian cinema for contemporary use and for the posterity.”

Farabi Digital Library

IRCICA Farabi Digital Library is a project aiming at facilitating and supporting libraries make their digital collections available to worldwide scholars. To do so, IRCICA developed a  stand alone software allowing libraries to easily display their digital materials, and hosts the digital library.

Some of the most respected Turkish libraries are using the Farabi software: Atatürk Library, Beyazıt State Library and Süleymaniye Library. And IRCICA is opened to establish new partnerships, develop new kinds of cooperation, and provide support to any library that has a digital collection.

The Farabi Digital Library provides access to a great number of books, periodicals, photographs, postcards, maps, mostly in Ottoman Turkish, French and English. In order to access the full content of the digital library, visitors need to create a free account. Once logged in, it is possible to browse, read, listen and -if available- obtain a translation of the item consulted into sixteen different languages. Although the translation is far from being of the highest quality, the feature will be appreciated by students or researchers lacking language skills, but still wanting to get a broad sense of the topic of a page.

The Farabi Digital Library proposes two viewers looking different but offering exactly the same features (display, flip pages, enlarge, search, and share) are available: the Farabi Reader, and the Flip Book reader. Digital materials are full-text searchable in original script.

The digital library can be searched in English with refining options (by Institution, media type, author, date, publisher, language or subject) offered in the left-hand side menu. In addition, it is possible to save searches, and add selected items to a list to a list of Favorites.

The interface is available in both Turkish and English.