UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Ph.D. student Sumayya Ahmed will study in Morocco this summer because of the aid of a fellowship from the American Institute of Maghreb Studies. The award totaled $3,320 and will be used to help pay for Ahmed’s research which she has titled, “Digital Preservation of Moroccan Manuscript Collections."
According to Ahmed’s research abstract for the grant, “This research looks specifically at large scale digitization of manuscripts being carried out at the Moroccan National Library in Rabat. By observing the library’s current digitization projects, as well as curation and workflow protocols, it hopes to understand how the library organizes, curates, and eventually digitizes manuscripts in its vast collection.”
Ahmed will spend her mornings at the National Library of Morocco and study manuscripts with an Arabic teacher in the afternoons. This aspect of the trip will be paid for by a Foreign Language and Area Studies grant from the UNC African Studies Center.
“[The summer research] represents a chance to diversify and expand discussions on digital cultural heritage while possibly contributing to a body of knowledge that informs how Arabic and Islamic manuscripts from Morocco are understood and used after the digital preservation process,” Ahmed said.