This project is co-funded by the Nahrein Network between Kurdistan Institution for Strategic Studies and Scientific Research and Zheen Archive Center to examine local archives in Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan. Examined archives are published titles, manuscripts, memoirs, autobiographies, visual material, as well as socio-political and colonial documents and other historical sources from and about the British colonial period (direct and indirect rule from 1917-1958), in Iraq.
The focus of this research project is to critically read, analyse and categorize the different sources and digitalizing and making them accessible to students, researchers, and academics locally and internationally. The Zheen Archive Center houses the personal library collections of local men and women as these continue to be donated to the centre to this day. Most of these personal archives are yet to be examined critically for understanding their historic, as well as socio-political significance. And they continue to be inaccessible to wider audiences, local, national, and transnational scholars, public decision-makers, educators, and ordinary people. In light of this, the present project aims to make the archives accessible by categorizing and identifying their historical, anthropological, etc., significance. and opening them to the public. In addition, the team plans to conduct ethnographic interviews with the elderly frequenting the centre and the donors of some of the personal archives stored there. The oral knowledge strand aims to contextualize the old written documents and visual material with individual and collective living recollections about the latter period of the British installed monarchy. Moreover, the interviews will expand the understanding of the British colonial era and fill in the gaps left by the archival documents.