About the Digital Library of the Middle East

The Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) is a worldwide effort that seeks to federate all types of cultural heritage material, including archives, manuscripts, museum objects, archaeological and media collections. A core principle is collaboration with partners across the Middle East and North Africa to reveal, share, and protect collections of cultural assets.

The DLME will provide an online environment that securely federates the digital records of millions of accessible artifacts that range across twelve millennia. It will include metadata describing the provenance and history of each object; it will be accessible through desktop computers, tablets, and phones; and it will be continually augmented though subsequent generations of scholarly input, crowdsourcing, and new knowledge discovered through its use. By providing the history of each digital object and accessibility through a variety of devices, the DLME also mitigates looting and the illegal resale of this heritage.

By developing an extensible, open source platform and sophisticated tools and applications, we hope to create a non-proprietary, globally accessible library of immediate importance, that over time may serve as a model for digital libraries of cultural and scientific heritage of other regions similarly under threat from conflict, environmental danger, or political instability and curtailment of human rights.

DLME Founding Organizations
The Council on Library and Information Resources (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.

The Antiquities Coalition is leading the global fight against cultural racketeering: the illicit trade in antiquities by organized criminals and terrorist organizations. The Coalition’s innovative and practical solutions tackle crimes against heritage head on, empowering communities and countries in crisis.

Principal Partners

Qatar National Library
Stanford University Libraries

Charles Henry, CoPI; Peter Herdrich, CoPI; Wayne Graham, Bethany Nowviskie, Neil Sieling, Elizabeth Waraksa

Funding for the Digital Library of the Middle East is generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the Council on Library and Information Resources and we are grateful for their support.