From December members of the public will once again be able to access the Al Khalidi Library, thanks to two-year restoration project co-funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund.
The library, which was established in around 1900, contains the largest private collection of Arabic manuscripts in Jerusalem, including some of the most valuable manuscripts in the Arabic and Islamic world. The restoration project included the installation of library management and catalogue software to digitise and safeguard around 1,800 manuscripts dating back to the 18th century. The project also included research into the archives of the Al Khalidi family and the records from the legal courts in Jerusalem. Staff at the library received training on techniques to preserve manuscripts and new surveillance and safety equipment was installed.
The Cultural Protection Fund aims to preserve and restore cultural heritage throughout many Arab countries, including the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
During the opening of the exhibition, members of the Al Khalidi family shared personal stories about their connection to the library and emphasised the importance of the restoration and the protection of its contents.