The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today announced its partnership with Axiell, a leading vendor globally of collections management software to archives, libraries, and museums. Together, the two organizations will explore collaborative opportunities to design and sustain the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME).

“This partnership marks a new direction for CLIR; we are excited and eager to work together,” said CLIR President Charles Henry. “Axiell’s long experience in the Middle East, its knowledge in service to preserving cultural heritage, and innovative technology solutions for collection management and education make it a compelling collaborator. At heart, Axiell’s mission is to facilitate a humanistic enrichment of our capacity for understanding our world and our astonishingly rich cultural heritage, consonant with the vision of CLIR and the DLME.”

As presently conceived, the DLME will combine digital inventories with high-resolution digital replicas of cultural artifacts originating from the Middle East, including artifacts managed by cultural organizations in the region as well as digitized items relevant to Middle Eastern cultural heritage maintained around the world. In addition, large-scale digitization and cataloging of museum, library, and archival physical objects—as well as artifacts from archeological sites—will be supported throughout the Middle East to enrich the scope of cultural materials online. Images and descriptions from the DLME will be made publicly available, to the extent permitted by copyright, to encourage greater understanding of the region’s cultural legacy.

The project aims to be sustainable and to provide a cultural commonwealth, while helping safeguard a fundamentally important expression of our humanity. Making the inventory available and creating a teaching resource would further open it up for advanced research in the region. Through its high-resolution images and detailed descriptions of ownership and legal status, this multimedia digital library will be designed to trace the provenance and track the movement of historically significant items as a means to inhibit looting and illicit trafficking.

Axiell has ongoing contracts with cultural institutions in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, comprising a significant part of the broader region that the partners working on the DLME aspire to cover. These would form a solid basis for the inventory alongside Axiell’s other worldwide customers with artifacts from the region.

Commenting on the collaboration, Axiell Group President & CEO Joel Sommerfeldt said, “Axiell is proud and honored to be invited to collaborate with the Council on Library and Information Resources. Our organizations have a common view of how important it is to preserve and share the world’s history, to the benefit of research and cross-cultural collaboration. We are glad to be able to contribute with our knowledge of how to manage data, enrich collections and make them more accessible in a digital age. In our collaboration with CLIR, we will help support and guide in the development of the Digital Library of the Middle East.“

About CLIR

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. Through its programs, which include the Digital Library Federation and Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives, CLIR aims to promote forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good. To learn more, visit

About Axiell

Axiell serves libraries, schools, archives, museums and authorities with technically advanced and innovative solutions developed in close cooperation with its customers. More than 3,000 library organizations with thousands of branches use an Axiell library management system and Axiell Arena, a tool for the virtual library. The systems for archives, libraries, and museums are used by over 3,400 cultural institutions over the world. In addition, more than 3,000 schools use an Axiell system. The Axiell Group, headquartered in Lund, has more than 300 employees based out of 24 offices in Sweden, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA. Together, the Axiell Group forms one of the world’s largest companies in these sectors. To find out more about Axiell and its products, please visit

Skip to content