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Qatar National Library to offer sneak peek of prized collection on Thursday



The under-construction Qatar National Library is holding an offsite open house showcasing its Heritage Collection on Thursday, April 18, Qatar Foundation has announced.

More than 100,000 works, including manuscripts, books and artifacts representing Islamic and Arab civilization will be on display at the Heritage Library near Education City in honor of International Day for Monuments and Sites.

The QNL, which is being designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was originally slated to open this year, but its launch has been pushed back to the end of 2014.

Photos of Mecca

Some of the high-profile pieces include a 1948 edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia, the oldest printed map showing the name of Qatar; a rare volume of pictures consisting of the first detailed photographs of Mecca taken in 1888 by Dutch scholar Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje; and a botanical collection from the 1700s that contains a description of Middle East flora and sheds light on herbal medicine practiced in the region at that time.

In a statement, QNL Project Director Dr. Claudia Lux said: 

“The Heritage Collection – the heart of the new Qatar National Library – is a place families, students, researchers and tourists can see, explore, and enjoy now…

With ambitious efforts to digitise and share these rare materials already underway, the Qatar National Library is, under the visionary leadership and inspiring direction of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, doing its part to bridge Qatar’s rich heritage with its future using knowledge.”

Public tours will run from 1pm to 6pm on Thursday. Sign up here to attend and find out how to get there here.

And if you miss Thursday, Heritage Library gives tours of its premises and collections twice every Sunday and Tuesday at 10am and 11:30am.

Who’s going?


Credit: Images courtesy of QNL

Note: This article previously incorrectly stated that the Heritage Library is inside Education City. It is actually near EC at 71 Al-Maha Street, off Luqta Street near Immigration Roundabout.

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