Ministry plans digitisation of heritage materials

June 01, 2014 - 3:58:15 am
Officials during the announcement of the digitisation project.

DOHA: A pilot project for digitisation heritage material at the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage will start soon.  

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (ICT) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage (MoCAH) and Qatar National Library (QNL) have initiated the project. 

The ICT Ministry has taken the lead to facilitate and launch that pilot project, which came in the form of a tripartite memo of understanding signed today by the two ministries and QNL, on the sidelines of the third edition of Qatar ICT Conference and Exhibition (QITCOM 2014) that took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre on May 26 to 28.

The project comes as part of ICT Ministry’s efforts to digitise the Qatari heritage and culture and make them available in a digital format to display it for local and international audience and make Qatar’s rich heritage more accessible to the nation’s increasingly digital savvy youth.

The project involves the digitisation of audiovisual material and pictures related to the culture and heritage of Qatar that could otherwise be lost due to natural deterioration or technological obsolescence. 

The MoU was signed by Reem Al Mansoori, Executive Director of Internet and Society at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Hamad Al Muhanadi, Head of Heritage Department at the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, and Dr Claudia Lux, QNL Project Director. 

Qatar National Library was selected to play the role of a national digital conversion center. The library is already a centre of excellence having used its experience to digitize historic items from its extensive Heritage Collection for publication on websites including the World Digital Library.

Following the MoU, QNL will use its state-of-the-art resources and expert technical staff to implement the pilot project which will see a selection of the digitized audiovisual and picture content published online through a public portal to be managed by the library.

Throughout the project, the ICT Ministry will be overseeing the digitization process to observe compliance with the policies and standards of digitization of Qatar’s culture, heritage and media.

“The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology realizes the importance of preserving Qatar’s heritage. Together with partner organizations in the media, culture and heritage sectors, the Ministry can develop new ways of using technology to preserve and disseminate Qatar’s national heritage, “ said Al Mansoori commenting on the MoU. 

“The pilot project is an important first step in the Ministry’s national plan to digitize, preserve and share Qatar’s rich Arab and Islamic heritage online. By making Qatar’s heritage accessible on the Internet, we not only connect our youth with their heritage and traditions, but also enable them to express their identity in new and innovative ways. In the new digital age, technology provides new opportunities for preserving our shared national memory,” she added.

The Peninsula

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