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Digital Collection

As a library of the 21 st Century, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), along with its affiliated academic and cultural centers, is committed to digitization as a means of preserving, managing, and disseminating information and knowledge. The BA sets out to share them with a worldwide audience via the internet, thus promoting greater understanding and tolerance between cultures. To achieve this goal, the BA has formed partnerships with various cultural, academic, governmental, and corporate organizations for the creation of many significant and compelling digital projects. These projects cover a wide array of cultural and educational themes.

The concept behind the Supercourse is the creation of a "metaschool" supporting a variety of subjects that can train students via the internet. Lectures are selected and made available on the internet for the use of individual students and scholars and are shared without restrictions among researchers and teachers. The pilot program highlights public health as its main theme. It features approximately 1,500 electronic lectures in epidemiology, emphasizing the best lectures available, and makes them readily available over the web or on CD.

The BA maintains a mirror site of the Supercourse at and is automating the process of lecture selection and review, thus ensuring greater availability and reliability. BA's target is to increase the collection to 100,000 lectures by 2006 and further, to achieve one million lectures by 2009, building a strong network of participating institutions and/or individuals.

The Alexandria Project is one of the major projects undertaken by the BA as it focuses on the history and heritage of our own institution, the Ancient Library of Alexandria and its surrounding institutions. The project aims at making the BA a leader, concentrating on creating the most comprehensive and complete collection of historical data on Alexandria and its famous ancient library. As a depository for all related forms of information, the BA relies on digitization to preserve their history for generations to come.

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The Eternal Egypt initiative represents a unique partnership between the Egyptian Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT), an arm of the BA, and IBM. Eternal Egypt makes use of innovative IBM technologies and services to create an interactive, multimedia experience focusing on Egyptian cultural artifacts, places, and history for a global audience. The Eternal Egypt website includes an unprecedented experience of high-resolution images; three-dimensional reconstructions of Egyptian monuments and antiquities, as well as virtually-reconstructed environments; and, panoramic images or views of present-day Egypt, captured by robotic cameras located in places as diverse as the top of Karnak Temple or the streets of Old Cairo. An innovative, interactive map and timeline guides Eternal Egypt visitors through Egypt's cultural heritage, while a "context navigator" presents the complex relationships between objects, places and personalities of Egypt's past in a unique, web-based display.

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The Virtual Exhibit on Ancient Greek, Egyptian and Arab civilizations!

  • Arab-Islamic period
  • Hellenistic period
  • Pharaonic period

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The Beacon for Freedom of Expression is a bibliographical database on freedom of expression and censorship world wide. It was designed and produced by the Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression in celebration of the opening of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The database contains bibliographical information on the writings of free thinkers from all parts of the globe that have been banned through history, and serves as a tribute to the memory of the countless victims of censorship past and present. This database represents a unique source of knowledge that will enhance open dialogue between the world's cultures on the universal right to freedom of expression. Meanwhile, it will consequently contribute to the awareness that freedom of expression, free access to information, and free debate represents the best defense a community has against suppression.

The international database presently holds more than 50,000 bibliographic entries concerning publications on freedom of expression, censorship issues, and censored books and newspapers. It represents the most comprehensive collection of bibliographic information on freedom of expression and censorship in the world today. The database is available to users world wide, free of charge, in the true spirit of Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, insuring that, "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; [including] freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers."

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One of the most pivotal moments in Egyptian history was without a doubt the reign of Gamal Abdel Nasser and his striking character, spreading optimism over a once kept Egypt . Over his altering reign, Nasser initiated new sparks of patriotism in Egyptians worldwide, creating an ideology where Egypt was the top priority. In cooperation with the Nasser Foundation, the International School of Information Science (ISIS) at the BA, embarked on a voyage deep into the documentation of the vast collection of both official and personal documents of the former Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser . Provided by the Nasser Foundation, the entire collection has been digitized and represented on a web-based interface with full-text Arabic and English search in both meta data and content. The website, , allows users to explore the world of Nasser's Egypt, through his famous speeches, available both written and audio, handwritten letters, official documents from Egypt, the United States, and the United Kingdom, various photographs and video clips, and many more.

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OACIS represents an improvement in access to Middle Eastern serials, available in libraries in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, making scholarly literature from and about the Middle East widely and freely available to intellectuals around the world. OACIS develops a better understanding of the varied economies, politics, languages, and cultures of the Middle East.

Initiated by Yale University Library, the BA has been a major Middle Eastern partner in the OACIS project. The BA contributes to the project through enriching and updating the OACIS catalog on a regular basis with records available at the BA. This unique system was launched in November 2003 and currently comprises fourteen partners (including nine US universities, one German university, two Jordanian universities, one Syrian university and the BA), 42 languages (focusing on Arabic, Persian and Turkish), and 23,000 unique title records.