The Manar al-Athar photo-archive, based in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Oxford, provides high-resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, publication, and heritage work. These images of archaeological sites, buildings and artworks, cover the areas of the former Roman Empire which later came under Islamic rule (such as Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Egypt and North Africa), and adjoining regions (such as Armenia and Georgia). The chronological range is from c. 300 BC through the Islamic period. Manar al-Athar means ‘Guide to Archaeology’ in Arabic.
The photo-archive is open-access so that it can be freely used by anyone anywhere in the world. Photographs can be freely downloaded as original high-resolution images (tif images) without water marks, making them immediately available in a format suitable for publication or research, simply by acknowledging the source. Material is labelled in both English and Arabic to facilitate regional use.
The photo-archive was originally conceived as a resource for teaching and research, and the higher education sector (both in the UK and worldwide) remains a key audience. However, Manar al-Athar is also seeking to widen its user base and to encourage engagement from non-academic audiences, including those in the Middle East and North Africa, the archive’s primary geographical focus.
Working alongside the Manar al-Athar team, this micro-internship will provide insights into the growing field of digital cultural heritage resources, as well as how international collaborative projects between academia and community groups and organisations are created, maintained and evaluated. Your results will be fed into the development of Manar al-Athar’s international engagement strategy.
This micro-internship is co-hosted by the Heritage Partnerships Team, which is based in The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. The vision for the TORCH Heritage Programme is to enable ambitious and mutually beneficial partnerships that connect Oxford’s world-leading expertise with the UK and international Heritage Sector through three core areas of activity: building partnerships, growing expertise and sharing knowledge.
Manar al-Athar and the Heritage Partnerships Team have been working closely together to explore avenues for wider audience engagement.
What you will do:
Working remotely, both independently and as part of a team, you will undertake desk-based research using a range of online archives and resources to map the landscape of digital cultural heritage resources relating to the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on those outside the UK.
Each team member will have a particular geographic focus and summary discussions will require individuals to work together to identify common themes and topics.
Using information available online, you will review the engagement strategies of these digital resources, either by evaluating their accessibility or by providing insights into their strategic ambitions. This may include identifying community groups and/or organisations which are engaging with these resources.
You will present your findings in team briefings, and in two written formats: You will write a short report to be used by the Manar al-Athar team to inform future strategies for international collaboration and community engagement. You will also have the opportunity to publish on your experience and findings on the TORCH Heritage website.
By the end of the internship you will have gained:
Experience in sector-specific surveying of resources at a global level.
Insight into how community engagement with research can be developed, and experience of contributing to strategic plans for such engagement.
Experience in writing for both a professional and a general audience.
Experience in working remotely as part of a team, with remote supervision.
Candidates will be considered from any subject area, from second-year undergraduate level and above. They should possess good written communication skills, experience of reviewing and summarising information, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. An interest in the heritage sector (broadly defined), community engagement with research, and/or digital humanities is desirable.
Further details & how to apply:
Students are asked to provide:
A personal statement, explaining both why they are interested in the placement and the organisation, and why they would be well-suited to the post
Students are required to commit to the full micro-internship - as with any professional placement - and any concerns about dates should be raised with the Internship Office in advance of making an application.