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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Purchase of the Al-Ahram Digital Archive

Description:

Founded in 1875, Al-Ahram is the oldest and most reputable newspaper from Egypt and the Middle East. UW–Madison does not currently own all issues of this newspaper. Partial online access is available via Factiva, a newspaper service to which UW–Madison Libraries subscribe. This access is limited to articles published since 2013. Searching Factiva is very cumbersome. Consequently, acquiring the complete digitized back files of this major Egyptian newspaper will be a major gain for anyone researching Egyptian and Middle Eastern topics.

The Al-Ahram daily newspaper reaches across the political, social, economic and cultural scope of the nation in its reporting. Al-Ahram has long featured contributions from many of the Arab world’s most important literary figures and intellectuals, and will serve as a crucial resource for faculty and students in understanding modern Egyptian history, society and politics. It is a publication of unusual breadth. From politics to economics to religion to fashion to sports, Al-Ahram provides a tableau of the key questions and concerns of Egyptian elites and their constituencies as Egyptians migrated to cities, embraced modern concepts of education and economic development, and debated the meaning of Islam. Neither is the story of Al-Ahram exclusively Egyptian, casting light on broader regional developments and debates.

This project provides a one-time purchase of Al-Ahram Digital Archive, which covers the period 1880–2018. The Al-Ahram Digital Archive features full page-level digitization, with page views and searchable text. It will offer scholars English and Arabic interfaces, options to download or print pages in high resolution, and crowd-source improvements to the OCRed text.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:

Aaron Rock-Singer, Assistant Professor of History

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:

Emilie Songolo, Senior Academic Librarian for African and Francophone Studies, and Coordinator of International and Area Studies, General Library System

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Nevine El Nossery, Associate Professor, Department of French and Italian and Department of African Cultural Studies and Director of the Middle East Studies Program

George Andrew Spencer, Senior Distinguished Bibliographer for Slavic, East European, Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies, General Library System