Mission & Vision

The decision to create the digital archive was based on theoretical as well as practical considerations. Critical analyses of classical archives have progressively exposed them as loci of colonialism and then authoritarianism, whether official or elite driven. In Palestinian practice, invaluable collections of documents held by official or unofficial parties have been exposed to damage or even partial or total loss, and Birzeit has moved to minimize the danger in the future by furthering the project.

The mission is thus an open archive dedicated to long-term preservation and to liberation: it is a reliable counter-archive of the Palestinian people. As such it contains the most diverse types of written and audiovisual materials (texts, photographs, videos, recordings), with the exception of Palestinian Authority documents produced since 1994. The unique collection is housed in the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies at the university, an ideal venue for international input and outreach. Incoming documents are analyzed, selected, organized, categorized, and uploaded on the open access electronic website http://awraq.birzeit.edu with a clear indication regarding the donor and the source. The user-friendly website constitutes an excellent resource for all interested persons and a primary source for researchers around the world, with its easy access and its Arabic and English language materials.