A Diwan of Modern Egypt

24 September 2009

Alexandria, Egypt, September 24 2009– The International School of Information Science (ISIS), a Bibliotheca Alexandrina-affiliated research center, and the BA’s Special Projects Department have implemented an inclusive digital depository of materials documenting Egypt’s rich modern history. The Memory of Modern Egypt project provides an authentic and comprehensive archive of the culture, politics, and social life in Egypt, from the era of Mohamed Ali in 1805 to the end of Al-Sadat’s presidency in 1981.
The Memory of Modern Egypt), which is implemented by the library on the Internet and allow through a panorama of modern Egypt in the nineteenth century and till the twenty first century.
The website and the “rarest documentary film” about former prime minister, Ahmed Maher (1888-1945), who was assassinated in the lobby of the Egyptian parliament in 1945..
For the Memory of Modern Egypt Digital Library on the Internet, documents Egypt’s modern history through images, illustrations and documents, stamps, coins, newspapers and sound recordings, video and historical studies which can hardly be available on any other digital archive.
The easy access of the history of Egypt by more than the entrance of the rulers of Egypt from Muhammad Ali, who ruled the country since 1805, going through the several Khedeivs who reigned Egypt, King Farouk and the Nasserian age, up to Anwar Sadat who was assassinated in Sixth of October in October.
The site also contains more than 500 public figures who influenced history of Egypt’s political, cultural and social, including Saad Zaghloul and Mustafa Al-Nahhas, Mustafa Kamel, Mohamed Farid, Makram Ebeid and cinematographers as Ibrahim Lama and George Abyad, Bishara Wakim, Henri Barakat, Youssef Wahbi, Mahmoud Meligi.
It also includes a section of the icons of renaissance in Egypt. For example Refaa Al- Tahtawy and Jamal al-Din Afghani, Mohamed Abduh, and Ali Mubarak Salim Hassan and a group of artists and poets, including safety and Zakaria Ahmed, Munira Mahdia, Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab Mohammed Abdul-Muttalib, and Riad Mohamed Sunbati and Qasabgi.
Rare books, maps, medals and emblems are all stored in the Memory of Modern Egypt archive. Old advertisements, rare recordings and films, provide an authentic and immense guide to the culture and art of Egypt during different ages.
From the Memory of Modern Egypt repository (http://modernegypt.bibalex.org ), the user can browse through :
o Over 20,000 photos of famous figures and important events in Egyptian history;
o Over 11,000 documents related to subjects such as the formation of ministries and political parties, wars and revolutions, etc;
o About 1,200 analytical and biographical essays written by the Special Projects Department;
o Over 5,800 news clippings gathered from various newspapers and magazines;
o 65 unique maps;
o Over 1,000 speeches by different rulers and prime ministers, covering diverse topics and events;
o Over 140 audio recordings, including songs, speeches, and interviews with figures from various fields;
o More than 250 video recordings, mostly of rare quality;
o More than 540 historical advertisements for different goods and services;
o Over 950 covers of magazines, newspapers, novels, albums, and film posters;
o About 290 currencies, both coins and notes;
o Over 380 stamps commemorating significant people and events in modern Egyptian history;
o About 100 medals awarded to different figures; and
o Relevant books accessed through DAR.
Library of Alexandria is working to preserve the heritage and access to knowledge for future generations. The Institute of International Studies IT, one of the research centers of the library, to achieve through the establishment of advanced digital libraries. Hence the project “Memory of Modern Egypt” to create a digital library of articles with cultural and historical significance, relating to the modern state in Egypt. The reservation of these digital materials to be available through the digital archive on the Internet. The project will be cooperation between the International Institute of Informatics and management of special projects at the Library of Alexandria specialized in documenting the original material and production. “Memory of Modern Egypt” includes 14 types of material collected from several sources; It is divided into documents and speeches, photographs and video and audio recordings, maps, books, introductions, news and covers, coins, medals and stamps and advertisements. In conclusion, the Memory of Modern Egypt is a Diwan by itself, preserving a vast and abundant amount of historical information about Egypt.

Noha Hisham


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