Digitising British Imperialism in the Gulf : The British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership by Louis Allday

Louis Allday is Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist at the British Library and a PhD candidate in the History Department at SOAS.

Louis discussed the work of the British Library-Qatar Foundation partnership (BLQFP) and the bi-lingual (English/Arabic) online portal that it has created, the Qatar Digital Library (QDL). The QDL was launched in November 2014 and can be found at www.qdl.qa. Since its launch, the QDL site has been used by an average 10-12,000 users per month, primarily in the US, UK and across the Gulf region (in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the UAE).

The BLQFP has two main branches: the enhanced cataloguing and digitization of a number of the library’s Arabic-language scientific manuscripts from around the Islamic World, and the enhanced cataloguing and digitization of India Office Record (IOR) materials related to the history of the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East. It was the latter aspect of the project that Louis introduced in the lecture.

Held jointly with the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.