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Home > Crisis in Iraq > UNDG-Programme > Computerized database for the National Library and State Archives in Baghdad and development of an Intranet networking for libraries 
Computerized database for the National Library and State Archives in Baghdad and development of an Intranet networking for libraries 

 

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Reading room after looting and fire, UNESCO, July 2003

The projectís targets are the assessment of the collections at the National Library and Archives in view of their organization in new premises, the establishment of a computerized database, the provision of a network between libraries of cultural institutions, inside and outside of Baghdad, the training of local staff in charge of the inventory and the preparation of an architecture brief for the relocation of the collections and the provision of equipment.

The National Library and State Archives whose foundation dates back to 1920, building consists of three floors and a basement. The present building has been built in 1977. Since 1970, the National Library was in charge of the legal deposit of documents printed in Iraq. In 1999, 5 copies of documents printed/edited in Iraq were deposited in the National Library but due to the embargo, only a small number of titles were recorded. No national bibliography was published. Because of over a decade of considerable budgetary restrictions and the embargo that blindly reduced the opportunities of acquisition, Iraqi libraries are doubly wrecked. At present, no centralized database of publication and manuscripts has been set-up.

The National Library has been severely damaged: the building was burnt and looted twice, on April 14, 2003 and one week later. The ground floor with the main reading room has been sacked. The binding unit no longer exists. The concrete is deeply damaged as indicated in a specific study conducted by a civil engineer in charge of the buildings at the City of Baghdad Council which concludes that the building cannot be restored.

 

Start Date 01 Mar 2004
End Date 01 Mar 2007
Lead Organization / Sector / Office UNESCO and Ministry of Culture





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