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Re: [casi] Correct: Assessment of Iraqi cultural heritage Libraries and Archives

Dear all,

Sorry for that mistake.

Of course it should read: "The following mess of a unformatted text is .."

and not as I wrote:
"The following unformatted mess of a text is ..."

While .... this leads me to re-think the text quality all over again ....

But that's for later.



----- Original Message -----
From: "AS-ILAS" <>
To: "casi" <>
Sent: Sonntag, 10. August 2003 12:46
Subject: [casi] Assessment of Iraqi cultural heritage Libraries and Archives

Hi all,

The following unformatted mess of a text is a simple haul-over from a pdf

For the original (formatted) doc please visit the below URL.



Assessment of Iraqi cultural heritage Libraries and Archives
(with pics at the above given URL)
June 27-July 6, 2003

Report by: Jean-Marie Arnoult
Inspecteur général des bibliothèques
Paris, France

UNESCO Contract 26 00 00 526A
Assessment of Iraqi cultural heritage
Libraries and archives
June 27-July 6, 2003
Jean-Marie ARNOULT
Inspecteur général des bibliothèques
Paris, France

(a) General recommendations
1. Architectural reconstruction
Reconstructions have from now on to be contemplated. The file is enormous
but it may be an
opportunity to reconsider the architectural programmes of libraries in order
to make them more
functional regarding contemporary necessities.
Therefore, existing buildings which were not meant to receive activities
with particular constraints
or may have been recently weakened must not be reused.
However, owing to the time needed to build up projects (dealing with the
location, the
architectural programmes, the signing of contracts and the building itself),
it is strongly advised to
find as soon as possible temporary buildings likely to receive the
collections that have been
scattered into unsuitable buildings in order to treat them (cleaning,
inventories), and receive the
personnels who have to be motivated again and go back to work.
2. Reconstruction of collections
It means a reconstruction rather than a mere reconstitution that would only
involve the replacing
piece by piece of the destroyed books. Because of over a decade of
considerable budgetary
restrictions and the embargo that blindly reduced the opportunities of
acquisition, Iraqi libraries
are doubly wrecked.
As to patrimonial collections (National Library and National Archives) their
reconstitution through
the reproduction of destroyed documents will imply an international
co-operation with a lot of
countries, mainly the countries that had historical links with Iraq.
3. "Requalification" of personnels
The reconstruction of libraries implies a necessary requalification of
professionals through the
setting of a temporary system of training until it is possible to create a
basic teaching with
diplomas for book, documentation or archive workers and to restructure
All the fields of librarianship and records management have to be taken into
account through
professional training
- locally thanks to local and regional professionals,
- abroad for the training of trainers.?2
The following fields have to be privileged : preventive conservation,
cataloguing, bibliographic
research, computerisation, new technologies of information, public libraries
including libraries for
children too.
4. Administrative and legislative reorganisation.
It is most important that such services and their personnels should be part
of an administrative and
financial logic so as to insure their efficient working, their investments
and the everlastingness of
their objectives towards the population of a democratic country.
(b) Specific recommendations
1. Baghdad, Centre for manuscripts
1. As far as the situation is not secured, the return of the collection to
Baghdad is not
2. It is not desirable to foresee the reinstallation of the collection in
the previous premises as
far as they have not been restored correctly to give acceptable conditions
of conservation.
3. It is highly recommended, in the present phase, to prepare a preventive
programme (mainly cleaning and boxing).
4. Restoration and digitisation programmes are not only depending on
acquisition of
equipment but also on coherent objectives and qualification of technicians.
This supposes a
reflection on patrimony policy with other collections and libraries, and
with the national Museum
for common equipment and training of technicians.
5. Training and qualification of technicians is an essential problem, the
same as before the
2. Baghdad, National Library
1. Make the collections secure in the different locations where they are
2. In the mosque, improve conditions of storage : install a ventilation
system in the room,
supplied with a generator, provide appropriate treatments to avoid insects
and rodents in the store,
provide efficient extinguishers.
3. The installation of the National Library in existing buildings is
acceptable for a short
period only, to give time to gather the dispersed collections, start
cleaning and inventories, to
motivate employees and give them sense of responsibilities.
4. Construction of a new building is an absolute emergency measure in a
medium term, but it
is necessary to already prepare the architectural programme.
5. The work of inventory of collections is very urgent ; it will determine
the programme of
acquisitions to reconstitute destroyed collections.
6. The professional "requalification" is an important element in the
strategy in a short term.
We suggest to organise urgently local training in the different fields of
librarianship, including
conservation (preventive conservation).
7. In any case, it is totally useless to "sanctuarise" the National Library
: the most important
now is to save what is remaining in the different rooms and try to clean and
keep it cautiously for
later identification and reuse.
3. Baghdad, National Archives
1. Make the collections secure in the different locations where they are
2. In the mosque, improve conditions of storage as indicated for the
National Library
collections (Recommendation 2).
3. Identify and attribute urgently a safe and secure new building to gather
the dispersed
4. It is urgent to start the inventory of the remaining collections to
replace lost inventories
and catalogues.
5. Start cleaning and boxing of remaining collections in a first phase of
conservation programme.
6. Start a programme for reorganisation of Iraqi archives, to collect and
save what can be
saved in the ministries and administrations, and try to reconstitute lost
7. Engage work to prepare construction of a new building, distinct of the
National Library

[ .... ]

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