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Casa Árabe donates its media library collection to the AECID library

On December 19, the General Director of Casa Árabe, Pedro Martínez-Avial, held a meeting with the Director of Cultural and Scientific Relations of the AECID, Roberto Varela, and took advantage to visit the Islamic Library and see how the Casa Árabe collections which were given to the AECID have been organized.

December 30, 2017
In the year of 2016, the process began to integrate Casa Árabe’s former Media Library into the bibliographic collection of the AECID Islamic Library. This initiative, part of a commitment to combine efforts among different cultural institutions, was started up after the granting of the thirteenth UNESCO-Sharjah Prize to the Agency’s Islamic Library. This prize, created in 1998, acknowledges the work performed by personages and institutions to spread Arab culture and intercultural dialogue in general. Thanks to the award, aid was given for technical assistance financed in the amount of 30,000 dollars for the integration project.

This action helped increase the documentary resources of the AECID Library, which now possesses important historical collections expanded over the last ten years with donations from the personal libraries of certain Arabists.

These AECID Library collections covered a broad time span and geographic space in the Arab world, but had notable deficiencies in terms of documents from the modern world, above all in the field of electronic resources (the Digital Library currently hosts the digitized heritage, as well as twentieth-century photographs from the Protectorate). As for the documentary resources of Casa Árabe, they were related with different themes from the modern and contemporary world, from the geographic space where the Arab countries are located. In general, they include documents on politics, economics and culture, above all works specializing in contemporary Arab creation, art, music, film, comics, media, reports by international entities, maps, legislation in Spanish, journals and written press items about Islam and Arab and Islamic philosophy and civilization, and what Spain was like during the era of Al-Andalus, etc. Moreover, the works acquired include a collection of contemporary novels of great interest. Last of all, we should highlight the sound recordings with music by authors of different styles and from different geographic regions, in a wide range of genres: ANDALUSI, CLASSICAL, FOLKLORE, INSTRUMENTAL, JAZZ, LYRICAL, MAGHREBI, MIDDLE EASTERN, POP, RAI and ROCK.

As a result, with the integration of the two collections, the existing deficiencies involving documents from the modern world will be solved, especially in terms of electronic documents.

Because these collections were not accessible for use because of a lack of technical capacity and budgeting, it was advisable to bring all of the valuable documentary heritage together at the AECID Islamic Library, which remains open and active. To promote and facilitate access to it, these works have been located in the Reading Room and may be lent out to those researchers who possess a library card.

The AECID and Casa Árabe are closely related institutions, because the Agency is the main entity financing Casa Árabe and their network of users overlaps. This relationship and the complementary nature of the institutions can be seen particularly well in the realm of documentation, thanks to the materialization of this handover.
Casa Árabe donates its media library collection to the AECID library