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Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Qatar National Library (QNL)

 

June 5, on the final day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the Qatar pavilion between Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Qatar National Library (QNL).

The signing ceremony was attended by Andrei Golovnev, Director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Abeer Al-Kuwari, Director of Research and Learning Services at the Qatar National Library.

The signing of the Memorandum was initiated by the Qatar National Library (https://www.qnl.qa/en) which is one of the largest libraries in the region and one of the most technically advanced libraries in the world (opened to the public in November 2017). Currently, the library's collection includes more than 800 thousand printed and more than 500 thousand electronic books, magazines and newspapers.

Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg (www.kunstkamera.ru) is the oldest state museum in Russia, its richest scientific collections were being progressively formed throughout its 300-year history, primarily as a result of intense expeditionary and research activities. A significant part of the vast archival photo collection that belongs to the museum and is well known in the world is associated with the world of Islam. These are the works of both professional photographers and Russian officers, intelligence officers, diplomats, scientists, who photographed a lot at that time within the Islamic world. In general, the Muslim historical and ethnographic collection of the MAE is undoubtedly the richest in Russia, containing the most important and mostly irreplaceable information about the traditional cultures of Muslim peoples. Today the MAE RAS is one of the largest Islamic studies centers in Russia.

The main areas of joint work under the signed agreement will be: placement of a part of the digitized Middle Eastern photo collections of the MAE in the QNL digital repositories, projects of the Qatar National Library and museums in St. Petersburg to translate key Russian scientific works on the Persian Gulf region into English and Arabic for joint publication, as well as participation of the Qatar National Library in the large-scale international project "Planet Kunstkamera".