UCL Centre for Digital Humanities


UCLDH guest lecture: Marilyn Deegan, 'Archives at Risk: Preserving Cultural Heritage through Digitisation in Sudan' 

27 November 2013, 5:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



G31, Foster Court

Cultural heritage is one of the most significant goods that a county and a culture possesses.  The Sudan is a country rich in artefacts that go back to the dawn of history: archaeological remains, art, manuscripts that date back to beginning of Islam, books, archival documents, documentary film, hundreds of thousands of hours of video, television and radio, millions of photographs.  The National Archives alone hold 76 million photographic negatives.  This rich heritage is at risk.  At risk from the heat, dust and humidity, from obsolescence of media: the documentary film in the film archive, for instance, can only be accessed on ancient and deteriorating equipment, for which no spare parts for repair can be found.  These materials record history and culture of the country that is fast disappearing in the modern world.  If these artefacts themselves are lost, so too will be the knowledge of a way of life.  Digital Sudan will transform  Sudanese intellectual productions to modern electronic and digital media, which will be safer to preserve and easier to retrieve. 

There are a number of digitization projects being carried out in Sudan, and spurred on to action by the news of the loss of vital parts of the cultural heritage in Timbuktu in Mali with the destruction of libraries, the Ministry of Information, the Sudanese Association for the Archiving of Knowledge (SUDAAK), and museums, libraries, archives throughout the country are collaborating to form the National Cultural Heritage Digitization Team (NCHDT) to raise the level of activity significantly.

All are welcome and there will be drinks and refreshments after the talk. Please note that registration is required.


Marilyn Deegan is Professor of Digital Humanities at King's College London and the former editor of LLC: the Journal of Digital Humanities. She has 25 years' experience in digital humanities and is also a medievalist. Her recent publications include Text Editing, Print and the Digital World (edited volume, with Kathryn Sutherland; 2008), Transferred Illusions: Digital Technology and the Forms of Print (with Kathryn Sutherland; 2009), Being a Pilgrim: Art and Ritual on the Medieval Routes to Santiago (with Kathleen Ashley; 2009).