Resources

In the fall of 2015, the director of the National Archive of Afghanistan (NAA) reached out to the the Persian Manuscript Initiative (PMI) for help creating a collection-wide preservation and cataloging plan for their manuscript collection. PMI began working with the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) to design a digital preservation plan that would enable us to both digitally preserve and remotely catalog the NAA collection. HMML agreed to fund the digital preservation component of the project and make all images available through their IIIF server so that scholars and manuscript experts throughout the world could easily work with them and provided bibliographic metadata. PMI, with financial support from the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies and The Islamic Manuscript Association, sent a preliminary curatorial assessment team (led by Francis Richard/BULAC and Noshad Rokni/Malek Museum) to the NAA for three weeks in April 2015, with the expectation that the digitization program would commence in June 2015. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Culture and Information ultimately denied permission for the digitization program to proceed (after initially indicating they would approve it). The curatorial assessment team still went and conducted several training workshops focused on codicological skills and basic preservation techniques. They also produced a detailed report on the archive and its collection, which can be downloaded here. We view this report as the basis for future grant applications aimed at bolstering the physical infrastructure of NAA and physically preserving its collections. We are currently working on working with the NAA staff on various capacity building projects while also trying to convince the Minister of Culture and Information to approve the digitization program. If you are interested in the project, please get in touch.
Afghanistan’s Islam
This book provides the first overview of the history and development of Islam in Afghanistan. Written by leading international experts, chapters cover every era from the conversion of Afghanistan through the medieval period to the present day. Based on primary sources in Arabic, Persian, Pashto, Uzbek, and Urdu, its depth of coverage is unrivalled in providing a developmental picture of Afghanistan’s Islam, including such issues as the rise of Sufism, women’s religiosity, state religious policies, and transnational Islamism. Looking beyond the unifying rhetoric of theology, the book reveals the disparate and contested forms of Afghanistan’s Islam.

Resource web site on Nuristan Province, provided by member Richard Strand.

Afghanistan Digital Library
The immediate objective of the Afghanistan Digital Library is to retrieve and restore the first sixty years of Afghanistan’s published cultural heritage. The project is collecting, cataloging, digitizing, and making available over the Internet as many Afghan publications from the period 1871–1930 as it is possible to identify and locate.

The Williams Afghan Media Project
The Williams Afghan Media Project (WAMP) is an online resource for the study of Afghanistan. In addition to helping to preserve and make available resources related to Afghanistan, WAMP also provides a site for exploring Afghanistan’s cultural legacy, historical development, and present situation.

Da Afghanistan Kalanay Collection
Da Afghanistan Kalanay also known as the Salnamah-i Afghanistan is an almanac and yearbook published by the Government of Afghanistan from 1932-1990 (1311-1369). Each volume covers political and economic history and activities of the country.

Preserving and Creating Access to Unique Afghan Records
The University of Arizona Libraries (UAL) in partnership with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU) is collaborating, preserving and providing access to Afghanistan literature mostly from the Jihad Period. This is a unique collection of documents related to Afghanistan history, culture, and its development during the Jihad period 1989-2006 and more.