As part of its core commitment to building resources for supporting research-driven scholarship and teaching, al Mawrid maintains a number of interrelated archives holding documents, images, and publications for collective study of the history of the visual arts in the Arab World. Resources include physical materials such as photographic prints and negatives, rare books and periodicals, and exhibition emphemera, as well as interviews with artists and practitioners. With an aim of preserving materials while at the same time making them available to students, scholars, and the general public, al Mawrid is focused on growing its collections of material by collaborating with existing stewards of local archives—often the families of artists—to digitize and catalog copies of materials and develop web-based tools for access.
The Arab Art Archive works with artists, their families, collections, galleries, arts organizations, and other institutions throughout the region and around the world to digitize a range of documentary material pertaining to the history of modern art in the Arab countries. This material is either donated, loaned, or digitized on location and returned to its owner. Digital files are stored and preserved in perpetuity by the NYU Library’s Digital Technology Services in New York. In addition to the archival collections currently stated on the website, al Mawrid continues to digitize other collections, which will be posted soon.
The material includes artist writings, journals, correspondence, exhibition materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs—pertaining to the history of modern art in the Arab countries. Materials licensed to be made available to the public will be accessible through an archive portal that will launch in 2024. Unpublished material can be accessed at al Mawrid Center at NYU Abu Dhabi campus.
The use of digital files is governed by customized legal agreements. To view material from al Mawrid's Arab Archive Collection, fill out the Access Request to al Mawrid Archive form. The form includes important disclaimers in regard to the access and use of the archival material.
The Akkasah Photography Archive acquires collections of prints and negatives, and it also creates digital versions of collections that remain with individuals and institutions seeking to preserve and share their collections. Akkasah is a scholarly enterprise and it does not seek any commercial rights over the materials it holds. Both the archive and the special collection of photobooks and albums are open to scholars, students and the general public by appointment. We welcome proposals for new collections and collaborations.
The Arab Art Archive builds upon an initiative led by Salwa Mikdadi in the mid-1980s, under the name of ICWA/Cultural & Visual Art Resource, to archive and study the art of the Arab world. This material is now housed in NYUAD's Archives and Special Collections as the Salwa Mikdadi Papers.
Contact NYUAD's Archives and Special Collections team to request an appointment.