The Egyptian Post Authority (EPA) has presented the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) with a gift of the commemorative stamp collection issued between 1981 until 1991. Mervat Rifaie, marketing manger of the EPA in Alexandria, handed the collection to Khaled Azab, head of the projects sector and central activities of the BA.
“Egyptian stamp collections represent a unique resource that documents Egypt’s contemporary history, and one that is accessible free of charge online,” Dr Azab noted. He referred to the BA’s “Memory of Modern Egypt” (MoME) project which aims at establishing the biggest digitised library of modern Egyptian history starting with Muhammad Ali in 1805 and until the time of President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981.
MoME is a collaborative effort between the International School of Information Science (ISIS) and the Special Projects Department. It is a digital repository documenting the last 200 years of Egypt’s modern history through tens of thousands of varying items, such as documents, pictures, audios, videos, maps, articles, stamps, coins, etc. that created an index of 14 different material types. MoME website won Al-Kindi Informatics Award as the best cultural website in Arabic in 2009.
In 2008 the BA’s ICT Sector and its Centre for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT) launched the Digital Archive of Egyptian Stamps, within its endeavour to preserve heritage in digital form for future generations. It documents four hundred postage stamps, documents and rare photos. Egyptian postal services date back to ancient times when the Pharaohs organised the transfer of mail inside and outside Egypt. For this purpose they used couriers who travelled along the banks of the Nile, or abroad through the routes of convoys and army troops.