Connecting Archives, Connecting People

Location Türkiye, Libya, North Africa

Years 2022-2023

Director Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez

Funding Supported by the 'Imagining Futures through Un/Archived Pasts’ initiative, funded by AHRC/UKRI

Research Summary

‘Connecting Archives, Connecting People’ widens access to archives by focusing on the concept of ‘creators’ – the people who collect, create, and interpret archival material – as ways to connect documents and information hosted in different institutions.

In the first phase of the project, the BIAA worked with the British Institute of Libyan and North African Studies (BILNAS) to generate and curate key personal name datasets and add authority links to VIAF, LCAH and Wikidata to clarify the identity of specific individuals and standardise the terminology used throughout the databases. A Linked Open Data (LOD) template was created, along with workflow and guidance documents in English, Arabic and Turkish.

These were then shared with the British International Research Institutes (BIRI) housing collections relating to Iraq, Italy, Greece, East Africa, the Levant, Iran and the wider Persionate world. Finally, two online workshops were organised to disseminate results and share best practices with other galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs).

Connecting information between the different Institutes’ archives is important contribution to making knowledge around the artefacts, excavations, cultural events and other materials richer and more complementary, as it will add multiple perspectives on entities that appear in more than one collection.

A recording of the ‘Connecting Archives, Connecting People’ Wikidata Workshop, held on 27th September 2023, can be viewed here.

A recording of the ‘Connecting Archives, Connecting People’ Arabic-language workshop – held online on 15th January 2024, can be viewed here.

Research Director

Nurdan Atalan Çayırezmez


Charlotte Roueche Kings College London