We are delighted to be partnering with Chevening to offer a professional development fellowship.
The Chevening Fellow will develop a community crowdsourcing project to improve the discoverability of approximately 10,000 digitised West African manuscripts within the EAP collections. We are keen to ensure these manuscripts are assigned titles in Arabic script, making them more accessible to local researchers.
The fellowship will be based with the EAP team and offers the chance to spend 12 months 'behind-the-scenes' at the British Library. It is open to anyone based in Mali, Niger, Nigeria or Senegal.
Led by Dr Ilya Nagradov, this project (awarded in 2018) digitised a total of 174 books and manuscripts located at traditional residing places of old believers in the Kostroma region of Russia.
Old Believers are Eastern Orthodox Christians who follow a form of Christianity that pre-dates the reforms of Patriarch Nixon, who aimed to unite the practices of the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches in the mid 17th century.
This pilot project, led by Dr Paul Love, digitised manuscripts and documents located at the private residence of the El Bessi family. The manuscripts originally belonged to the endowed collection of the al-Bāsī mosque in Waligh, Jerba (Tunisia), which operated from the 18th to the early-20th century.
The texts in the El Bessi library deal with a variety of religious topics including law and theology, as well as biography and poetry. Alongside religious texts, however, the collection holds several works on rhetoric and language as well as the sciences. While many of the manuscripts were written by Sunni-Muslim authors from the Hanafi and Maliki schools of Islam, others were authored by the minority Ibadi-Muslim community on the island. Ibadis are neither Sunni nor Shi’i Muslims and most of their texts today remain in private collections like this one. Having been protected for centuries by Ibadis, collections like this one and many others on the island of Jerba are in danger of being lost forever.
Almost all items are in Arabic, although Turkish appears occasionally as a language of commentary or marginal notes.
Led by Ms Angela Wachuka, the EAP1357 team, including digitisation coordinator Maureen Mumbua, digitised minute book volumes for the County Council of Nairobi, Kenya from 1920s-1950s.
This collection, located at the McMillan Memorial Libary, provides unique visual documentation of Kenya’s politics, history and culture during the colonial era, by capturing the City Council’s meeting notes concerning parliamentary matters, historical events and daily life in this significant period.
Municipal Council of Nairobi Minutes of Proceedings of The Council and of the Several Committees Thereof for the Month of May, 1940 (EAP1357/1/1)
In 2021, the British Library launched a project to establish a network of institutional hubs as a framework for local training and outreach work. We are very happy to announce that the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University, Kolkata has been chosen as the EAP Regional Hub for South Asia. The SCTR has been associated with eight EAP projects. As a Regional Hub, it will carry out activities through a series of workshops in collaboration with the British Library.
Workshop on 14 September 2022
The first workshop will take place on Wednesday 14 September 2022. We welcome individuals, institutions and organisations in South Asia who are interested in applying for EAP grants and understanding the nature of a digitisation project workflow. We especially encourage first-time applicants to attend this workshop. All applicants are requested to write a paragraph or two about why they wish to participate.
The workshop will be held in hybrid mode, i.e. in-person at Jadavpur University and online. The workshop will feature instructional videos by British Library staff, which will give an overview of caring for items before and during digitisation as well as imaging equipment and standards. In-person speakers will include past EAP grant holders from the School who will share their experience and expertise and provide practical instruction on various aspects of digitisation.
Please note that while participation in the workshop is free, no financial support can be provided for travel, board and lodging.
Digitisation for the project EAP1247 "Songs of the Old Madmen: Recovering Baul Songs from the Note-Books of 19th and 20th Century Bengali Saint-Composers", where SCTR, Jadavpur University acted as the Archival Partner.