Wednesday 17 July 2019

US Embassy Baghdad announces funding to digitize the cultural collection at the Kurdish Heritage Institute

Washington, DC, USA ( - The Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in the United States is pleased at the recent decision by the US Embassy in Baghdad to fund the digitization of a large cultural heritage collection in Kurdistan Region.

The goal of the grant is to inventory, catalog, document, and digitize the Kurdish Heritage Institute’s cultural heritage collections and to establish the first digital library adhering to international standards in Kurdistan and Iraq. The digitization process will be conducted by the Digital Library of the Middle East, which is a joint project of the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Antiquities Coalition, both based in Washington, DC. 

Founded by legendary Kurdish musician Dr. Mazhar Khaleghi (pictured, left), the Kurdish Heritage Institute is one of the premier cultural heritage preservation institutions in the Kurdistan Region.

Inventory, digitization, and access to collections data are accepted best practice for cultural heritage collections of all kinds. In case of loss or theft, these records assist law enforcement in investigations, making return and repatriation of stolen material possible. These steps are especially important to objects under threat from looting and trafficking, a fate suffered in Kurdistan and more broadly across Iraq.  

KRG-US Director of Cultural Affairs Najat Abdullah (pictured, right) provided support to the Kurdish Heritage Institute and Digital Library of the Middle East during the development and funding process.