30 June 2020
£150,000 has been granted to SOAS University of London by the Wolfson Foundation, a leading funder of UK higher education and a long-standing supporter of SOAS.
The funding will help establish a digitisation hub and a collection care unit. The physical creation from current space and co-location of these facilities will transform access to the world-class collections at SOAS today, enable deeper research collaborations and ensure our collections are preserved for future generations. The funding will help to create an ecosystem of teaching, research, outreach and collaboration, taking the Library ‘out of the walls’ and into the world.
The SOAS Library is one of the world’s most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It attracts scholars from all over the world to consult its holdings and further their research. It is the custodian of unique, priceless and extraordinary collections
Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Director of Library and Learning services said:
"SOAS Library is a library of the world and for the world. This generous donation from the Wolfson Foundation will enable us to build on the significant progress already made with our digital library and will be vital in transforming access to SOAS Library's unique holdings and making them available freely for students, scholars and the public to use, reuse and explore. The collections are exceptionally culturally diverse and rich in content and languages and we are excited to be able to transform also our physical stewardship of these internationally significant collections."
Previous grants from the Foundation have played a major role in transforming the School’s Library increasing the size of the reading rooms and enhancing the department for Archives and Special Collections.
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:
"We are only too aware of the challenges facing higher education at the moment. This award is a public demonstration of the importance of the aims of SOAS -and, in particular, its remarkable library and archive - at this difficult moment."
About the Wolfson Foundation
The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and health, heritage, humanities and the arts. Education and research underpins all that we do.
Since it was established in 1955, over £900 million (£1.9 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 11,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review.