In response to the tragic displacement of people, loss of life in conflict zones, and ongoing threats to the cultural heritage of the Middle East through destruction, looting, and illicit trafficking, the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) has begun to federate Middle Eastern collections from around the world, creating a publicly accessible, inter-operable digital library of cultural material.
CLIR is working with the Qatar National Library, The Antiquities Coalition, the Digital Library Federation (DLF), Stanford University Libraries and other institutions worldwide to explore the feasibility and undertake technical prototyping of a Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME).
The DLME would create an internationally shared digital inventory of cultural artifacts, to include detailed and culturally nuanced descriptions, and confirm objects’ appearance and provenance. This information would help determine whether an item of cultural or historical significance offered for sale or being transferred was acquired legally. Records from the DLME would be made publicly available to encourage scholarly discoveries and greater appreciation of the region's rich heritage and living peoples, while helping to safeguard fundamentally important expressions of our cultural commonwealth and shared humanity.
Early contributions to the project are helping to test our technical platform and workflows. We look forward to federating the collections of regional partners in our next phase of work.