Mohammed bin Rashid Library1-1666588157987
Key officials at the ceremony to sign an agreement between Mohammed bin Rashid Library Foundation and etisalat by e&, MBRL’s Golden Partner. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Library Foundation signed a cooperation agreement with etisalat by e&, MBRL’s Golden Partner, to support and develop an integrated centre aiming to provide the restoration and technical processing services for various types of rare collectibles, books, and manuscripts. This agreement is part of the Library’s endeavour to enhance areas of joint-cooperation with all government and private entities.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dr Mohammed Salem Al Mazrouei, Board Member of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation; Abdulla Ibrahim Al Ahmed, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Government Sales at etisalat by e&, along with number of officials and staff members from both entities.

“The agreement represents a major step in our efforts to enhance areas of joint cooperation with all government and private entities, aiming to preserve and care for ancient documents, books, and manuscripts. This is done through sterilisation, treatment, and restoration of the library’s collectables and treasures, along with the national documentations at both the institutional and individual levels. Restoration of documents, manuscripts, and books is an integral part of our vision and duty to ensure the sustainability of human civilisation, and the transfer of knowledge and cultural heritage to future generations,” said Dr Al Mazrouei.

Specialist training

“The centre will be equipped with the latest devices, tools, and modern technologies necessary for the restoration of MBRL’s documents and books, as well as those of institutions and individuals across the UAE. These services include cleaning, sterilising, and completing the missing parts, in addition to scanning books, maps, manuscripts, and other written works, transforming them into digital formats, and publishing them to be available to students, academics, and all those interested. Motivated by our vision to make the most of MBRL’s resources, printed and digital publications, and young manpower, the centre’s team will feature a select group of experts and specialists to develop, train, and prepare national talents to lead the future of restoration efforts,” he added.

“Today represents a great opportunity to emphasise the importance of creating channels for knowledge exchange in all spheres and specialties, through openness to international organisations and specialised institutions, and the adoption of best practices that cater to the development of innovative solutions, catalysing positive cultural movement across Emirati and regional communities, and ultimaltely aligning with the wise leaderships’s objectives for establishing a knowledge-based economy,” Dr Al Mazrouei concluded.

“We are pleased to sign this partnership agreement with MBRL, which will enhance joint cooperation with the Library, reflecting our great vision and belief in the importance of concerted efforts to preserve ancient documents, books, and manuscripts, thus contributing to the sustainability of human heritage and civilisation across generations,” said Al Ahmed.

“etisalat by e&, one of the world’s largest ICT and tech innovation companies, will provide MBRL with the latest chemical processing and automated restoration units, along with other advanced technological means, which guarantee a high-quality restoration process according to the best international standards,” added Al Ahmed.

Under the agreement, etisalat by e& will provide the necessary support for the development of the restoration centre, including the provision of supply, installation, and additional services related to the project, while the MBRL provides the facilities and services stipulated in the partnership.

Centre’s tasks

The centre will be equipped with the latest devices, tools and modern technologies necessary for the restoration of documents and books, including cleaning, sterilising, patching over holes, and completing the missing parts, in addition to scanning books, maps, manuscripts, and other written works, transforming them into digital formats, and publishing them to be available to researchers, scientists, and students across various electronic platforms.

The restoration centre aims to preserve rare books and collectibles as a form of safeguarding human evolution and the continuity of human civilisation. This is done by rendering manuscripts and rare books suitable to be displayed in museums and exhibitions by treating the damage and restoring worn out parts, without compromising their historical identity. The restoration also ensures the continuation of human civilisation as a historical message between the past, present, and future, and a reflection of human life across various historical stages.

Rare collection

Spread over 1,540 square feet, MBRL features the Treasures of The Library exhibition, which displays a fascinating collection of rare and old books, atlases, manuscripts, and documents, some of which dating back to the 13th century, including early copies of the Holy Quran, early editions of classic prints, and Latin translations of scientific sources dating back to the Islamic Golden Age.

Among the rare exhibited items is the first edition of Blaeu’s Atlas Maior, the first edition of Michel de Montaigne’s “Essays”, in addition to Napoleon’s Description de l’Égypte, an 18-century encyclopaedic register of Egyptian history and archaeology. Moreover, the library has a carefully selected collection of atlases, including the star atlas, a marine atlas, and an atlas of horses and falcons.

The Treasures of The Library exhibition also features first editions of Arab and international cultures, rare Arab periodicals from the Arab world and beyond, in addition to an impressive collection of signatures of international figures.