The V&A have launched an innovative digital portal as part of their Culture in Crisis Programme, connecting individuals and organisations behind key cultural heritage projects with potential sponsors and collaborators.
This free online resource demonstrates the V&A’s commitment to protecting the world’s cultural heritage and supporting communities that suffer cultural loss through conflict, criminal acts or natural disaster.
Some projects already listed include:
Digitization of Manuscripts in the Middle East and Africa: making endangered manuscripts available for free online. This project was organised by Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in Minnesota and has received £7mill since 2011 from founder Arcadia.
Deir al Surian Projects: Organised by the Levantine Foundation, this project aims to conserve manuscripts within the Deir al Surian monastery in Egypt. Coptic and Arabic manuscripts will be conserved, catalogued and photographed. This project started in October 2019 and is supported by British Council – Cultural Protection Fund.
Preserving Palestinian Heritage: Another project funded by British Council Cultural Protection Fund, this was an 18-month project to expand access to the largest private collection of Arabic Manuscripts in Jerusalem. It included the installation of Library Management and Catalogue Software for some 300,000 digital Manuscript images; the installation of surveillance, alarm systems and fire safety equipment to prevent against wilful damage or fire; and the conservation of at least 50 of the most valuable and vulnerable manuscripts.
An Emergency Assessment and Digital Preservation Initiative for Mosul’s Textual Collections and Repositories: In response to the occupation of Mosul and northern Iraq by ISIS, which took a profound toll on the region’s citizens, infrastructure and intellectual records, ASOR-Cultural Heritage Initiatives collaborated with the Digital Center for Eastern Manuscripts and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library to train and equip Iraqi heritage professionals at Mosul University to digitize significant manuscripts, historical records, photographs, newspapers, and archaeological documents held at the city’s university, library, and museum and in private collections. The project is now completed, having raised $174,750 in funding with help from the Whiting Foundation.
The V&A’s hope is that this Culture in Crisis Portal will soon become the world’s largest and most accessible project database of its kind, enabling users to quickly and easily register their preservation projects, as well as searching for those already in existence.
If you have or know of a project that supports and protects cultural heritage, go to www.cultureincrisis.org. From there you can sign up, register details, or search other projects.