The Manuscript Collection of the Great ‘Umari Mosque Library’ in Gaza, Palestine, is one of the most important archival collections of the country.
The library, currently housed by the Department of Manuscripts by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious affairs, holds hundreds of historical books and about 187 original Arabic language manuscripts (ca. 20.000 pages). The collection dates back to 1515, and covers a wide spectrum of subject matters of among other things, Islamic sciences, humanities, jurisprudence, Prophetic tradition, literature and poetry, mostly written by Palestinian scholars. Most of the volumes of this Library collection are not available elsewhere in the world, and therefore hold unique information on the political, historical, social and artistic development of the country. Through this project, the University College of Applied Sciences under the coordination of Muneer Elbaz, will focus on the urgent safeguarding and preservation of this collection. The most vulnerable documents will be treated, the storage conditions will be improved, and the collection will be digitized. To this effect, local staff will be trained in urgent conservation and digitization. The digital records will be made publically available online.
Image copyright: Conservartecuador