Friday, February 09, 2007

Hard to Read

The New York Times published an interesting article this week about the British Library hosting the diaries of Saad Eskander, the director of the Iraq National Library and Archives in Baghdad. The diary itself is a harrowing portrait of the lives of ordinary people in the midst of the chaos and violence that is Baghdad today. In one entry, Dr. Eskander describes his drive from the airport to Baghdad City after a trip to Italy, and the six bombings that happened that day alone, as "a very nice welcome and back to reality." Be sure to check out the chart he created in January tracking the impact of sectarian violence on the Library staff in December.

On a related note, the University of Chicago has posted a page with images of Iraqi Library Stamps so that book dealers, Interpol agents and others can keep their eyes peeled for any books or documents that were looted from Iraqi libraries in March and April of 2003, when many of the libraries were burned and ransacked. The project is part of efforts coordinated by Middle East Librarians Association's Committee on Iraqi Libraries.

Also of note is Dr. Eskander's keynote speech given at the Internet Librarian International 2004 Conference in London.



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