Jordan is a fusion of cultures, and its history offers layers of civilizations. Its geographically privileged position has made it a nexus of the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, Asia, and Africa, and this resulted in many of the world’s great civilizations seeking to expand their power in and control over it. Consequently, over the centuries many castles and fortresses have been constructed in Jordan.
In 2014, ACOR partnered with USAID to establish a groundbreaking new project that would approach heritage management in new and dynamic ways: The Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP). In this photo essay, we introduce the USAID SCHEP Collection, which currently comprises 4,710 images from the first four years of this pioneering project. The USAID SCHEP Collection is the first born-digital collection in the ACOR Photo Archive, and the first with metadata produced fully in both English and Arabic.
ضمن رؤية المركز الأمريكي للأبحاث في حماية الإرث الأثري الأردني، وقع المركز في عام 2014 اتفاقية تعاون مع الوكالة الأمريكية للتنمية الدولية لتنفيذ مشروع جديد ورائد يسعى إلى إدارة الإرث الثقافي بطرق فعالة ومبتكرة. وبناءً على نموذج مبادرة إدارة الموارد الثقافية في معبد الأسود المجنحة/اكور والتي اعتمدت على اشراك أبناء المجتمعات المحلية في البترا، واستناداً على تجارب مشاريع إدارة الموارد الثقافية الأخرى القائمة في الأردن، قام المركز الأمريكي للأبحاث بتبني هذا النموذج وتطبيقه في مشروع “استدامة الإرث الثقافي بمشاركة المجتمعات المحلية”، حيث شهد المشروع عدة مراحل من التطور للوصول إلى نموذج مثالي مرن يمكن تطبيقه لتحقيق أهداف المشروع. يمكنك الاطلاع على أعمال المشروع خلال سنوات أعماله الأولى 2014-2018 من خلال قراءة كتاب قصة مشروع “استدامة الإرث الثقافي بمشاركة المجتمعات المحلية 2014-2018”
The USAID SCHEP collection is comprised of 4,710 selected photographs from the first four years of SCHEP (2014 – 2018), making them available to the public as a special collection within the ACOR Photo Archive. The photos showcase SCHEP-supported site development, awareness-raising, capacity-building, and tourism development work at nine sites throughout Jordan, highlighting modern conservation methods and local community involvement. The collection is arranged in five series by categories: Site Development, Capacity Building, Awareness, Events, and Tourism. Here we present curated image galleries for each of the categories, which offer a sampling of what the collection includes under each theme.
مجموعة صور مشروع استدامة الإرث الثقافي بمشاركة المجتمعات المحلية
تتكون مجموعة صور مشروع استدامة الإرث الثقافي بمشاركة المجتمعات المحلية من 4,710 صورة مختارة من السنوات الأربع الأولى من أعمال المشروع (2014-2018). ضمن أرشيف المركز الأمريكي للأبحاث تضم مجموعة صور المشروع العديد من الصور المتنوعة من أعمال تطوير المواقع الأثرية التسع التي عمل المشروع بها في جميع أنحاء الأردن مثل (بيت راس، أم الجمال، مادبا، غور الصافي، بصيرا، بير مذكور، معبد الأسود المجنحة، وادي رم، آيلة) ووضح بعضها الآخر كيفية مشاركة أبناء المجتمعات المحلية في دعم عملية إدارة الإرث الأثري الأردني وأساليب الحفظ الحديثة
تم ترتيب مجموعة صور المشروع في خمس مجموعات تعكس أهم ركائز أعمال المشروع وهي تطوير المواقع الأثرية والتطوير السياحي وبناء القدرات والتوعية والفعاليات. انقر على الصور أدناه لتطلع على لمحة بسيطة من صور كل مجموعة ولمشاهدة صوراً أكثر من سنوات مختلفة لأعمال المشروع نشجعك على زيارة موقع أرشيف المركز الأمريكي للأبحاث والاستمتاع بها
Based on the success of the ACOR Photo Archive Project to digitize and make available online 30,000 images covering a range of thirteen countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded ACOR an American Overseas Research Center (AORC) Title VI grant for a new project entitled “ACOR Digital Archive: Developing a Multimedia Teaching and Learning Resource.
ACOR Photo Archive Project 2016-2020: Building a Valuable Resource for “a Diverse, International Community”
“Prior to this project, ACOR’s archival photographs lingered in the basement—undisturbed and uncataloged—for years, in formats that, in terms of modern library usage, were rapidly becoming inaccessible. Since the launch of the photo archive platform in 2017, these images have been in constant use by high-school and university students, professors, researchers, publishers, and prestigious institutions, such as the Smithsonian.”
The Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP), is a USAID project implemented by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) that uses a unique methodology for preserving, managing and promoting cultural heritage resources in Jordan through a community-first approach. The USAID SCHEP collection will make available photos from the first four years of SCHEP (2014-2018), as a special collection within the ACOR Photo Archive.
Kenneth Russell was an American archaeologist who died in 1992 in Petra at the age of 41 from complications arising from a tick bite. He was on the threshold of a major discovery, and was about to lead the excavation of the Petra Church, which he first discovered years before. This anamnesis is both the summary of his scholarly career and the pictorial evidence as to why Ken holds a large place in the history of Jordanian archaeology and in the memories of his friends and colleagues.
Presented here is a recording of a talk at ACOR given on February 11th, 2020 by Dr. Jack Green and Jessica Holland about the photo archive. In the video, ACOR’s staff talks about the background of the project and the content that has been built. A breakdown of the different presentation sections is as follows: Project Introduction, Changes Over Time: From Excavation to Restoration, Interdisciplinary Collections, Collaboration, Reuse of Archive Photos, and Future Directions.
Taking place on the evening of February 11th, 2020, together with the lecture ‘The ACOR Photo Archive: Mobilizing Digital Tools to Preserve Visual Heritage’, is a pop up exhibition entitled ‘Picturing Change: The Role of Photographs in Cultural Heritage’. This display brings together 27 photos across eight collections held at ACOR and on the online archive. Juxtaposing images taken by individuals at various heritage sites across Jordan, photography’s role in capturing change becomes evident. Click here to download the exhibition as a pdf.
Bert de Vries has been involved with ACOR since 1968 and he has the most extensive living history of the institution. His knowledge of its past provides a rich well from which we can draw illustrations about life at ACOR during the late 1980s in Jordan. We sat down with him to talk about his photos and time at ACOR.
After 50 years of working in archaeology in Jordan, Nancy Lapp has met generations of scholars. In addition to well-known figures from the 1950s and 1960s, the Paul and Nancy Lapp collection features numerous archaeologists of varying levels of fame, and provides a unique record of life on an excavation.
On July 2-3, 2019, the ACOR Library and Archive hosted the third annual Archival Methods Workshop. Here you will find blog posts written by Jessica Holland (ACOR Archivist) and Samya Khalaf Kafafi (ACOR Assistant Librarian) detailing the events of these two days, as well as the slide shows for both presentations from the workshop.
Ashley Lumb has joined us as the next Project Archivist for ACOR’s Photo Archive Project. Ashley is working with the archive from July to May, thanks to support from a grant from the US Department of Education (Title VI, 2016 to 2020).
Nancy and Paul Lapp first entered the field in Palestine in 1957. They continued to work and raise a family at ASOR in Jerusalem until 1968. Despite that she never set out to be an archaeologist, Nancy did not shy away from the responsibility to publish Paul’s excavation material after his death in 1970. Since then, her involvement in the field has touched generations of scholars.
Rachael McGlensey joins us as our current Project Archivist Intern for ACOR’s Photo Archive Project. She arrived in Jordan in mid-January and will be working with the ACOR Library and Archives through December 2019, thanks to support from a grant from the US Department of Education (Title VI, 2016 to present).
Thirty Years of Stories Retold: Celebrating the Digitization of the Jane Taylor photo collection at ACOR
Jane Taylor, a British long-term resident of Jordan and a published author famous for her photographs of Petra, donated a collection of her slides and transparencies to ACOR in 2015. Taylor’s works include ‘High Above Jordan’; ‘Jordan: Images from the Air’; ‘Petra’ and ‘Petra: The Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans’.
Glenn Corbett and Jack Green discuss how ACOR’s photographic database can serve as a resource for recording and studying cultural heritage of the region.
On July 18, 2018, ACOR Photo Archive team held the workshop, “Archival Methods: 2nd Annual Skill-Sharing Workshop for Libraries, Archives and Museums”. Assistant Librarian Samya Khalaf presented how she handles metadata in the ACOR Photo Archive Project.
What can you do with a photo archive? This is a common question among people first digging into the world of history, research, art and archaeology.
Dr. Linda K. Jacobs, archaeologist, author, and founder of the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, writes about her intrepid year in Jordan in 1981 as a new post doc.
Archaeologist George Bass, well known for his underwater archaeology expeditions made a land trip through the Levant in December of 1955 and January of 1956, from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. In this article, Corrie Commisso shares photographs of the many heritage sites Bass visited as well as excerpts from Bass’s letters home, including anecdotes and impressions of a region undergoing political change.
An introduction to the ACOR Archive’s photo digitization project, preserving photographic heritage from across the region.
On July 18, 2018, the ACOR Photo Archive team held the workshop, “Archival Methods: 2nd Annual Skill-Sharing Workshop for Libraries, Archives and Museums”. Current and former Project Archivists, Jessica Holland and Steve Meyer shared their reflections from this successful workshop.
Steve Meyer is the Project Archivist for ACOR’s Photo Archive Project. He arrived in Jordan at the end of August 2017 and will be working in the ACOR Library through much of 2018 as part of the Photo Archive Internship Program.
In this post, ACOR archival intern and junior archivist Corrie Commisso discusses her experiences helping to launch the new ACOR Library Photographic Archive project, a four-year initiative that will bring ACOR’s rich photographic collections to the world.
ACOR is delighted to announce that it recently received new funding from the U.S. Department of Education through the competitive American Overseas Research Centers grant program. The new grant will support the ACOR Library Photographic Archive with an award of $260,000 that will be dispersed over a four-year period. ACOR Associate Director Dr. Glenn Corbett and ACOR Head Librarian Humi Al-Ayoubi will oversee this new project.