After burning the Egyptian Scientific Institute on Saturday 17th December 2011, great efforts started to work on saving the collections of the library which has 196.000 items. The National Library of Egypt is leading the efforts that initiated by different organizations and individuals. At this press release we will try to give a spot light on what's happening after burning the Egyptian Scientific Institute.
On the official side; The Ministry of Archeology formed a technical committee to check out the burned building of the Egyptian Scientific Institute. Another 2 committees formed for the same purpose, they were formed by Ministry of Culture, and Civilized Coordination Authority. The final result says that the building needs 2.5 Million Egyptian Pounds ($420.000) for restoration, and this process will take 1 year according to Mohammed Ali Ibrahim the Minister of Archaeology.
On the collections side; from the first moment after burning the collections; the National Library of Egypt started to save the collections as possible as they can. Many of Egyptian volunteers assisted in extracting the books from the fire. Dr. Zein Abdul Hadi, the head of Egyptian National Library participated himself at this process. Many trucks moved the rescued books to the National Library. According to Dr. Zein, "Around 30.000 items were rescued and stored in the National Library”. Cooperative efforts are running now to restore the saved items. American University in Cairo (AUC) and Bibliotheca Alexandrina are participating effectively. Today, 21st December, the National Library announced that same PCs were rescued and the electronic catalog of the library was found and safe.
On Monday 19th December; Sheikh Sultan Al Qassimi, Governor of the Emirate of Sharjah, announce that he will bear the whole cost of the building restoration, and will donate some of his rare acquisitions to the Institute.
William J. Kopycki, the Field Director, Library of Congress, Cairo Office posted important images that show the library stamps of the Egyptian Scientific Institute. It was great initiative that may assist in detecting any of these collections in the old books market.
“7 March Movement” which popular movement formed by Egyptian librarians, launched a campaign entitled “Protect Your Library and Heritage”. The campaign aims at collecting volunteers of librarians to participate in the restoration process, and will be managed with coordination with the National Library. The Movement’s statement that issued on 20th December said “In believe of our role in the Egyptian society, we invite all Egyptian librarians to contribute in saving out historical heritage and join our campaign”.