Digital History in Iraq and the US: International Collaborative Student Research

Elizabeth Campbell (Daemen College)

Much of the documentation for the history of Iraq and the Kurdish region lives in the homes of private collectors, inaccessible to scholars inside or outside of the country, and threatened by wars and instability. This project aims to create a digital archive of Iraqi and Kurdish sources as well as a model for international collaboration for student research. Students, faculty, librarians, and IT departments at three schools in two countries collaborate to build the archive, hosted by the International Digital Ephemera Project at UCLA. Undergraduates at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) contribute original materials and translations and collaborate with students at Daemen College to research and contextualize the sources and plan digital exhibits, while learning methods for historical research. This presentation provides an example of an exhibit, a plan for collaboration, and an overview of the challenges encountered so far.

Elizabeth Campbell is assistant professor of history at Daemen College. She taught at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani from 2012 to 2016. She studies the history of the late antique and early Islamic Middle East. She is currently working on digital history projects that document the cultural heritage of Iraq, including a map of medieval monasteries, and a collection of primary sources in private collections.


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