Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wellcome Egyptian collection in the World Digital Library

Story of early eastern medicine to be revealed to the world, press release, September 15, 2008. (Thanks to 24 Hour Museum.)

A new partnership between the Wellcome Library, one of the world’s leading resources for the history of medicine, and Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) in Egypt, the leading institution for the documentation of Egyptian, Arabic and Islamic cultural heritage will reveal the story of early medicine in the Eastern world.

The Wellcome Library contains a diverse collection of rare materials relating to both Ancient and Modern Egypt, from papyri to Arabic medical manuscripts and even relics of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1789.

The Wellcome Library will make these rare resources available in digital form to Bibliotheca Alexandrina, making them universally accessible for the first time.

... Ismail Serageldin, [director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, said,] ”For us, this partnership is a major step forward in our vision to make all knowledge available to all. ... We have the possibility to make this material available to a new generation of scholars, who have been brought up with the internet, on Facebook and on YouTube, who will be able to find the treasures of the past, in the forms of the present and the future.” ...

The new stream of documentation, which will eventually become part of BA’s own digital library, consists of visual, documentary, manuscript and printed material in several languages, and will also be available for inclusion in such collections as the World Digital Library - a fully searchable portal to cultural content worldwide, supported by Unesco, Google and the Library of Congress. ...

The project is part of an ambitious programme of digitisation taking place within the Wellcome Library.