Leicester research is using valuable manuscripts saved from destruction in conflict zones

Dr Jan Vandeburie is working with the Hill Manuscript Museum and Library, where significant historical documents are preserved and digitised

Valuable manuscript collections in conflict zones - including areas where there has been destructive IS activity – are being preserved and used for research by our University.

Dr Jan Vandeburie, from our School of History, Politics and International Relations, has been working with the digital and microfilm collections of the Hill Manuscript Museum and Library (HMML) since 2011.

This year, Jan has been awarded their Nicky B. Carpenter Fellowship in Manuscript Studies to be a visiting scholar at the Library, working with their unique collection of historical documents.

“The HMML has been doing magnificent work in preserving the cultural heritage of communities under threat in conflict regions,” says Jan. “Especially in recent years, their efforts in areas under threat from Daesh in Syria and Iraq have been crucial in preserving the invaluable local collections of manuscripts.”

For researchers like Jan, the HMML’s digital archive offers a chance to investigate the written heritage of communities in regions that are no longer accessible or whose libraries have been destroyed or looted.

Jan added: “I am very pleased to be working with the HMML and being able to make use of their collections and extremely grateful for their generosity and hospitality. I strongly recommend both students and scholars to look into how they can make use of these materials or contribute to this endeavour.”

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