The recently launched Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) prototype, the result of a partnership between Qatar National Library (QNL), the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Antiquities Coalition, features a wide range of exhibitions, including one on Qatar’s maritime history and heritage.

This exhibition, curated by Dr James Onley, Director of Historical Research and Partnerships at QNL, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), takes an in-depth look at the items in the Qatar Digital Library (QDL) that tell the story of Qatar’s rich maritime tradition. Documents include maps, pearl fishery reports, academic articles, and video and audio recordings of traditional sea music from Qatar.

We are very pleased to be part of the launch of DLME, which will bring worldwide access to the fascinating history and heritage of the Middle East. The DLME platform enables us to reach a wider audience, and make the history of the Arabian Gulf region more accessible to all.’

Dr Onley is a founding editor of the Journal of Arabian Studies, and was director of the Centre for Gulf Studies at Exeter University from 2005 to 2012. He also held visiting professorships at Georgetown University in Qatar, the American University of Sharjah, the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, and Qatar University.

Other exhibitions currently available on DLME focus on Egyptian and Near Eastern female figurines, and on how the DLME supports cultural heritage preservation.

The DLME will ultimately encompass text, video, photographs, archives, manuscripts, 3D data, and maps illuminating the region’s history over 12 millennia, curated by scholars and specialists. The first exhibitions can be seen at

The QDL is the result of a partnership between QNL and the British Library. It hosts over one million pages from the British Library’s vast collection of historical material (records, maps, images, books) on the Arabian Gulf region, and is freely available online worldwide.

To learn more about QDL, visit