About the Qatar Digital Library

What is the Qatar Digital Library?

The Qatar Digital Library (QDL) is making a vast archive featuring the cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region freely available online for the first time. It includes archives, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more, complete with contextualised explanatory notes and links, in both English and Arabic.

How did the QDL come about?

The QDL has been developed as part of a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on Partnerships between the Qatar Foundation, the Qatar National Library and The British Library. The website was developed by the Partnership in collaboration with Cogapp. The agreement of work for the first phase of the Partnership began in 2012, with the digitisation of a wide range of content from the British Library’s collections. Find out more about the Partnership.

Watch and learn about how the Qatar National Library and the British Library work together.

What can I find in the QDL?

Content currently available on the QDL was developed during the first phase of the partnership, reaching a total of 950,000 images by the end of 2016. More content is being added all the time, but current highlights the QDL is proud to showcase include:

Who is the QDL for?

Our aim is to make a world-class resource freely available for everyone – from those with a general interest in the history of the Gulf to the academic researchers undertaking ground-breaking research. The QDL will transform the study of Gulf history, improving understanding of the Islamic world, Arabic cultural heritage and the modern history of the Gulf. 

But we believe academic research is just one of many ways that our users can engage with and enjoy the diverse material featured by the QDL.

Be part of the QDL

The QDL will grow and evolve over time, with new content, new features and new perspectives adding to the rich material already here to discover. Get in touch, engage with us, send us feedback, tell people about it, tweet about it, and enjoy it. 

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