World Bulletin / News Desk
The Islamic Manuscript Association will hold 5th Islamic Manuscript Conference between July 24-26 in Britain.
The conference will be held at Christ's College, University of Cambridge and specifically address the issue of access to manuscripts, the association said on its website ( www.islamicmanuscript.org )
It will be hosted by the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge.
Improving access to manuscripts through digitisation and electronic ordering and delivery systems whilst ensuring their proper long-term preservation is fundamental to the successful future study of the Islamic heritage.
During the conference, some tehnological transformation of manuscripts and some concerns of collection holders about their legal rights and the financial sustainability of their organisations are expected to be discussed.
Technologies are available that have the potential to transform the way manuscripts are studied; however, the access these technologies can allow is counterbalanced by concerns regarding their legal rights and the financial sustainability of their organisations, the association announced.
The Conference will be organised around four main interest groups: cataloguing, conservation, digitisation, and publishing and research. The first day will also feature two special panels, a 'Collections' panel introducing less well-known collections from Africa, the Balkans, and Turkey, and a panel devoted to the conference theme of Access featuring invited experts who will discuss how such issues as security in libraries and online, financial considerations, and the understanding of international copyright law inform users' experience of accessing materials for research.
The Conference will be bilingual in Arabic and English and submissions will be accepted in both languages.
The Association conferences have been held at the University of Cambridge, in cooperation with the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and the the University's Centre of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, every summer since 2005.
The conferences also feature practical and technical demonstration sessions. These have included an introduction to pest management in libraries and museums and the demonstration of a vacuum packing machine for the recovery of disaster-damaged manuscripts.