Call for Papers International Conference « Digital Archiving in the Arab World »
« العمر فانيٌ والخط باقيٌ »
– أبو عمر عثمان الوراق
« al-ʿumru fāniyyun wa-l-khaṭṭu bāqiyyun – Life withers, but writing remains. »
– Abū ʿAmr ʿUthmān al-Warrāq
Digital archiving in the Arab world acts as a major channel of knowledge transmission in the present day. As the practice grows, new archival challenges emerge and act as a catalyst for innovation and development of new technologies. The International Digital Archiving Conference in the Arab World is to be held in Abu Dhabi, October 26 – 27, 2019. It is the first Digital Archiving conference to be organized by the CEDEJ, Egypt (Centre D’etudes Et De Documentation Économiques, Juridiques Et Sociales) in collaboration with Bibliotheca Alexandrina and CEFAS (Koweït). The conference’s aim is to provide an exploratory gateway of the fast-growing interdisciplinary field of digital archiving in the Arab world.
Arab history and civilization are monumental pillars in the modern history of humanity and strong contributors to the current “born-digital” knowledge. Thus, the conference aims to shed light on the richness of the content provided by the region and the importance of digital archiving in the milieu of the Arab World. Yet, in times when global digitization transcends all borders, the sources of scholarship and culture cannot be restricted to books because inarguably much of the old and new scholarships are being lost respectively. It also limits the potentiality of new knowledge production and the syntheses of new pedagogies. Equally, Digital Archiving contributes to the preservation of region’s identity, knowledge and heritage through widening the scope of accessibility of their resources and prolonging their life. The conference’s aim is to capitalize on the important contributions and tools of digital archiving and its trailing impact on the region.
Given the fact that the topic includes an infinite spectrum of disciplines, it is not unexpected that the topic becomes manifested in different forms across different disciplines. This conference aims to inaugurate a series of conferences – starting with Abu Dhabi in 2019 – as a formal endeavor to provide a sustainable platform of knowledge exchange of the various topics regarding Digital Archiving in the Arab World.
“While digital archives present both subject experts and information professionals with new archival challenges of selection, organization, and display, the digitally networked environment that underpins them is also a democratic opportunity to involve users both in the production of the archive and to contribute to its value-added distribution.” (Foster, Benford and Price, 2013)
“With the migration of cultural materials into networked environments, questions regarding the production, availability, validity, and stewardship of these materials present new challenges and opportunities for humanists. In contrast with the most traditional forms of scholarship, digital approaches are conspicuously collaborative and generative, even as they remain grounded in the traditions of humanistic inquiry. This changes the culture of humanities work as well as the questions that can be asked of the materials and objects that comprise the humanistic corpus”
The conference committee invites all practitioners to present their work to regarding the following themes with the respective guidelines.
“Records Management, Information Management, and Archivist personnel have been dealing with issues concerning the long-term preservation of digital data for the last 30 years, and in that time, there has been a shift from primarily paper records to electronic records” (Stewart and Banks, 2000).
1. Management and Analysis of Big Data in the Arab World
The compression and the expansion of multidimensional data require analyzing and sorting strategies especially with complex medium of the Arabic language (either translated or in Arabic). The increasing plurality of sources makes it difficult for the conventional data-processing mechanisms to deal with them. The Arab world faces universal and specific challenges regarding the management and the analysis of “Big Data” given the uniqueness of the content and all its attributes.
2. Manuscripts, rare books and endangered documents in the Arab World
This topic realizes the importance of old scholarships in the Arab World, physical archives across the region could be threatened due to general neglect and poor storage conditions which causes the erosion of the content. There have been several initiatives to preserve, document and digitize those records across the region, this topic aims to explore the constraints, challenges and current status quo of manuscripts, rare books and endangered documents in the Arab World
3. Digital Libraries in the Arab World
Much like archiving manuscripts, rare books and endangered documents, digital libraries in the Arab world act a pivotal role in the advancement of technologies and knowledge production. Digital libraries depend on storing content, digital libraries provide means for organizing, searching, and retrieving the content contained in the collection.
4. Map Preservation, Archiving and Digitization in the Arab World
The massive development of the digital paradigm has pushed the aspects of geospatial preservation to its limits. The practice of digital archiving of maps and its integration with geographic information systems has become the most popular practice amongst contemporary cartography and mapping. Its fulfilled through capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing, managing, and presenting spatial or geographic data. Yet, the digitization may pose obstacles that give room for more innovation and development.
5. 3D Digital Preservation in the Arab World
Precise documentation of monuments in the Arab World is essential for its protection and scientific studies. “The digital preservation of cultural heritage monuments is a specially challenging application of 3D modelling. Cultural heritage objects and sites greatly differ from each other and a maximized fidelity of the 3D model is a core requirement.” (Calin, Damian, et al, 2015).
6. Disability and Accessibility of Digital Archives in the Arab World
Persons with Disabilities face obstacles that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis, including the access to, and use of, information and communication technologies. These barriers include very little attention to incorporating accessibility features for online content and databases, especially in the Arab World. (Haq, 2017)
7. Interdisciplinary Practice and Digital Archiving in the Arab World
Digital archiving has an inevitable impact on scholarship, making knowledge easily interchangeable and accessible to all disciplines. Thus, the complexion of specific scholarships become more intricate and more interconnected. The association of Digital Archiving with almost most scholarly fields elevates the importance of facilitated navigation and accessibility thus developing better interfaces to users.
CEDEJ scientific coordinator : firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers (open to all researchers and professionals)
Posters (students only)
Proposals should be sent to email@example.com
Terms and Conditions:
- Abstract to be written in English, 10-15 lines. Font format and size: Times New Roman, 12 pt.
- Include 5 to 7 keywords
- Title, Author(s) and affiliation(s), Internet address of the author(s) and emails
- Abstract should present the research questions, the context, methodology, field, and main conclusions.
Important Dates and Deadlines:
Deadline for Abstract Submission (Papers and Posters) Feb 15th, 2019, 23:59 (UTC+02:00)
Finalists and applicants (Papers and Posters) will be notified with Jury’s decision on Feb 28th, 2019
Final Submission for Papers and Posters April 30th, 2019 23:59 (UTC+02:00)