Gertrude Bell and the Evolution of the Library Tradition in Iraq

Ian Johnson

Edited by Paul Collins and Charles Tripp

in Gertrude Bell and Iraq

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2017 | ISBN: 9780197266076
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191851469 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Gertrude Bell and the Evolution of the Library Tradition in Iraq

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This chapter discusses Gertrude Bell’s involvement in the foundation of the Baghdad Public Library and the Iraq Museum Library, shedding light on issues that have surrounded their creation and development. It identifies Muriel Jesse Forbes as the person who actually initiated the concept for the library that, as a result of Bell’s energetic support, became the Baghdad Public Library and ultimately the National Library of Iraq. It also reviews Bell’s commitment to the development of a library as part of the Iraq Museum, and outlines its growth into a major information resource on the history and archaeology of Iraq. Finally, it considers the motives underlying the efforts of Bell and her contemporaries, and their impact on the subsequent development of library and archives services in Iraq.

Keywords: Iraq; Gertrude Bell; libraries; museums; archives

Chapter.  6191 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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