America University in Cairo digitises rare manuscripts

Ahram Online, Thursday 29 Mar 2012

The burning of Egypt's Scientific Institute pushed AUC to embark on digitalising its own collection of rare books

AUC New Cairo Campus

The American University in Cairo (AUC) has digitising its collections of rare Egyptian manuscripts in a step aiming to preserve centuries of Egyptian and Middle Eastern history.

AUC said in a statement that the burning of Egypt’s Scientific Institute in December 2011 pushed them to take the step, as the fire was a reminder to everyone of the great importance and yet vulnerability of rare manuscripts.

The technical team of the university managed to digitise many of AUC's key rare books collections, including pictures and architectural blueprints, saving them in a digital database.

“This digital library will be available worldwide. It will include medieval and ancient manuscripts in addition to AUC's collection of documents on the Egyptian revolutions during the 20th century, which is one of the university’s most distinguished collections,” AUC Library said.

Caroline Renion, an AUC librarian responsible for digital archives, said that the digital section in the AUC’s Rare Books Library is a continuing project, as they still have tremendous amounts of documents and books to digitize.

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