A library for antiquities and heritage was inaugurated inside what was. in the past, a palace of Saddam Hussein in the city of Basra. The library houses a vast collection of books and manuscripts specialized in ancient artifacts and archaeological sites in Iraq.
It was opened at the Basra Civilization Museum to facilitate access to rare books and manuscripts for academics.
Mustafa Al-Husseini, the Director of Antiquities and Heritage in Basra, stated. “The opening of the first archaeological library in the province of Basra. containing many specialized books in the precise field of antiquities and heritage. These books include rare reports from foreign and Iraqi archaeological expeditions that took place 100 years ago in archaeological sites distributed across the entire territory of ancient Iraq. providing us with insights. suggestions, and interpretations of the archaeological phenomena that characterized ancient Iraq.”
According to Al-Husseini, the collection of books available in this library. the first of its kind for the residents of the southern Iraqi city. covers the Sumerian, Babylonian. and other ancient eras in Iraq.
Adel Hashim, a professor at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Basra. added, “The books and sources that deal with archaeology are scarce in Basra. or virtually non-existent. As a specialized researcher .and professor in the Faculty of Arts specializing in the history of ancient Iraq in the Sumerian. and Babylonian periods, I suffered from a lack of sources in the University of Basra or in Basra Governorate as a whole. Therefore, I had to travel either to Baghdad or Mosul to obtain these sources.”
According to the University of Cambridge. the Basra Civilization Museum had been closed since 1991, after the first Gulf War. before reopening to the public in 2019.