Times of Oman | News :: Access Oman history online, thanks to the British Library
"Muscat: The British Library has begun digitising Oman's history, to make documents accessible to anyone with a computer, anywhere in the world. 'In this phase of the project, we are digitising approximately 100 files on Oman, which is about 20,000 pages. These papers range in date from the 1750s to the mid-20th century. For the first time, important documents from key periods in Omani history will be accessible online, albeit seen mainly from the perspective of the English East India Company and British officials from that time. Letters in Arabic add to the richness of the collection, making it a hugely significant resource for anyone interested in Gulf history,' said Francis Owtram, Gulf History Specialist from the British Library/Qatar Foundation Partnership. The documents concentrates on relations with the British over political matters, trade and relationships with other European powers, such as France. 'There is also a wide variety of materials giving detailed reports of the geography and mineral wealth of Oman based upon expeditions to remote regions, together with fascinating photographs, such as those of the ancient frankincense port at Khor Rori in Dhofar. The project will also make available recordings of Omani traditional music and paintings, such as of Muscat's historic harbour guarded by its two imposing forts,' he said. The digitisation process started in January 2013, and historians believe that this project, and the involvement of the Qatar National Library, will inspire similar institutions to develop programmes like this to transform the way people are able to perform research about this part of the world. Regarding its importance, Owtram said the digitised documents would be helpful to those studying Oman ..."