Iraq is a part of an ancient civilisation and the Baghdad National Library, established in 1920 under the British rule, is a testament to its rich history. It has now emerged that the librarians working in this library are trying to preserve whatever treasure they have left after the US invasion and before the Islamic State gets their hands on them.
The world witnessed the horrific destruction of Palmyra, the ancient city in Syria and a complete erasure of history in Mosul, Iraq. According to the Library's own evaluation, precious documents dating back to the Ottoman empire were lost during the US-Iraq war.
A massive digitation drive is being led in the library to preserve rare documents. A specialised photography technique is being used to preserve fragile documents dating back decades and centuries. Currently, documents from the reign of Iraq's Faisal II are being processed. "Once restoration for some of the older documents from the Ottoman era, 200 to 250 years ago, is completed, we will begin to photograph those onto microfilm," Mazin Ibrahim Ismail, the head of the microfilm department Ismail is quoted in an AP report.
Each document requires individual attention but the staff is sparing no effort in protecting them from a very tangible threat.