"I quickly discovered preserving relics of the past is far from the fusty hobby of be-spectacled, basement-dwelling librarians. Rather, it is a stubborn act of resistance; a refusal to let a rich cultural resource become irrelevant by giving it new life as an accessible digital collection."
So reflects Project Archivist Jessica Holland on the new digital photo archive from the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), in an essay for Muftah magazine.
Made possible by an American Overseas Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the digital archive is the first step toward making ACOR's extensive photographic collection freely accessible for the first time.
ACOR describes the project on the archive's website:
The ACOR Library holds a remarkable photographic archive related to its role in preserving and promoting the country’s heritage. The complete collection, estimated to number more than 100,000 images, provides primary visual documentation of Jordan, including the major archaeological and cultural heritage projects the center has sponsored across the country over the decades. Given its broad range of content and subject matter, the ACOR Library photographic archive has the potential to be a crucial resource for American, international, and Jordanian scholars involved in cultural and natural heritage preservation and management.
As a first step in making this extensive archival collection available to researchers, the ACOR Library has begun to process, digitize, and make fully accessible (and searchable) online a majority of ACOR’s major institutional and donated photographic holdings. By leveraging technology to make these photographs available and freely accessible, the ACOR Library will better equip American, Jordanian, and international researchers and policy makers to monitor and assess the numerous threats facing heritage sites in the Middle East and especially Jordan.
To view the archive, visit https://photoarchive.acorjordan.org/.
For more information on ACOR, visit https://www.acorjordan.org/.