What makes Khazaeen unique in comparison to other archival projects?
Khazaeen is a societal archive, where we have the people themselves building this archive. Every single person can make his\her own contribution to the project, and this could be through even a small scrap of paper, old or new, and we do not stop there. Khazaeen also gathers and documents the stories of the people who made contributions to the archive. You can clearly see their folders with their names on it whenever you want to get access to the shared materials.
What type of material do you gather?
Khazaeen is interested in gathering ephemera material; which is basically any material that was produced for a short-term and specific objectives, such as: commercial, artistic, and political ads, brochures, pamphlets, business cards, posters, invitations, testimonies, personal documents, family pictures, or any other short-termed items. We also have interest in gathering materials published in Arabic or any other material that is related to the Arab culture regardless of the language of publication.
Why the focus on ephemera material in particular?
Most archives are concerned with books, magazines, and newspapers. There is rarely any interest in day-to-day publications, and the reason we believe it’s important to gather such material is:
- It serves as basic information in understanding local and social histories.
- It serves as a collective memory of the society’s day-to-day interactions.
- It contains honest and real information about certain events in certain points in history.
- It enables us to understand the social experience and the alterations that occured across different eras.
Were there any publications or material that were published without consent or approval?
Khazaeen receives items from tens of volunteers from different Arab countries, where the department of Content Management in Jerusalem works on sorting the received material, categorizing it, then present the controversial ones to the legal team in order to avoid such occurrences. Nonetheless, some material would be published inadvertently, and in such occasion feel free to reach out to us on the following email:
Your request would be addressed within 72 hours of making the submission.
Can I make a contribution to the website, or open a cabinet (khazaneh) in my name?
Yes, anyone is more than welcome to start his\her own cabinet (khazaneh) all you have to do is send the material you would like to add in an envelope - regardless of its content - and tell us where is your location. As Khazaeen we have several collection centers, located in: Amman, Beirut, Doha, and Algeria. Consequently, we’ll reach out to the collection owner in order to collect it, sign an authorization to use the material in accordance with the law, and then send it to Jerusalem.
How is the material handled once it arrives to Jerusalem?
The Technical Team would start sorting out the materials, where copies of each piece would be sent to another archive in order to have back-up copies, then it will be scanned so it can be saved digitally, while the hard copies would be kept and preserved in antioxidant files so they would not perish with time or be damaged. Following this, files are sent to the Content Management department where they would study the material in accordance with the publication policy and laws in order to determine what could or could not be uploaded to our website, where the material that couldn’t be uploaded would go to our storage rooms until we are able to publish it.
Is the material at any kind of risk?
Every archival material is at risk, and accordingly, we aim to get two hard copies of every piece we received where we keep one in Jerusalem and the other in a different Arab country, in addition to having a digital copy that we keep in different locations so it’s easy to reach when necessary.
How many hard copies does Khazaeen’s archive have?
So far Khazaeen has managed to gather up to 60 thousand documents, where most of it is: daily publications, advertisements, brochures, pamphlets, posters, business cards, postal cards, wedding invitations, commercial, political, and artistic .
What are your future plans?
Here at Khazaeen we aim to develop our website in the upcoming years so we could reach more than 10 thousand files, in addition to enhancing our research and education departments in order to strengthen the culture of archiving in younger generations.