Subsequent to the first USAID-Iraq HEAD Program meeting, held in Amman, Jordan 15–16 December 2003, a team from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, including the E. Christian Filstrup, Director of Libraries, Elizabeth Stone (Director) and Jennifer Pournelle (Asst. Director) of the Archaeology Project; and Wajdy Hailoo (Director) and Shawky Marcus (Asst. Director) of the Environmental Health Project visited Baghdad to inspect facilities, assess needs, and solicit bids toward execution of the Program. Critical components of this effort, aimed at restoring Iraq’s capacity to conduct higher education in these fields, are (1) bringing libraries—including holdings, internet connectivity, and information technology management—up to current graduate standards; (2) bringing faculty up-to-date in their fields; (3) enhancing graduate education and (4) establishing IT capacity to support libraries, teaching and research.
1.1 Libraries. We
investigated in some detail the rehabilitation, shelving/furnishing,
telecommunications infrastructure, and computer requirements at the University
of Baghdad College of Arts (Kulliyat al-Adab) archaeology library and the Mosul
University College of Arts library, identified electronic resources to deliver
to these facilities once they have good Internet connections, and profiled their
printed book and journal needs. Prior to our trip, we had consolidated lists of
in print books and determined procurement sources. We also agreed in principle
to help the medical libraries in Iraqi universities. We also began investigating shipping
arrangements, and will apply for military space-available shipment from CONUS
A big question, relevant to all Iraqi university and
research libraries, is whether to install integrated library systems (ILS) now,
or to start with simple cataloging systems such as WINISIS and later move the
data to more a sophisticated ILS. DOS cultural affairs officer John Russell
referred us to colleagues now involved in relocating the
national library and conserving its damaged documents, and at
1.2 Faculty Refresher.
Archaeology faculty were enthusiastic about the opportunity to meet their
international colleagues at the 4th International Congress on the Archaeology
of the Ancient Near East, to be held at the Free University, Berlin 19 March– 3
April 2004. 
We provided by-name invitation letters so that they may proceed with Visa
applications to the German Consulate. We also agreed to hold intensive
refresher workshops in archaeology in Erbil during a 10-week summer program, followed
by 2-week follow-on sessions at
1.3 Graduate Education Enhancement. We met many diligent, enthusiastic, English-speaking young men and women anxious for access to world-class archaeological research and technologies—but making the best of primary school-sized desks, 1960s-era survey equipment, and chipped plaster casts. At the request of the faculty and deans, senior graduate students were invited to the summer workshops—an obvious and essential boon to their Ph.D. education. At these workshops, we will include hands-on sessions that introduce students and their faculty to technological advances in archaeological survey, as well as introductory computing and GIS skills. ESRI has agreed to support this effort with software donations. To assist this effort, we will investigate the possibility of recruiting a graduate of "Train the Trainer" GIS (ArcGIS 8x) sessions conducted by ESRI instructors during November 2003 on behalf of the UN OCHA-HIC.
We also distributed applications for SBU’s M.A. program in Near Eastern
Archaeology. ESL workshop graduates (see Faculty Refresher, above) will
teach intensive English to prospective candidates and others at their home
institutions following the summer sessions. The American Center for Oriental Research
(ACOR) in Amman, Jordan will assist students and others with the complicated
U.S. visa application process (which at present requires two trips to Amman),
and can provide facilities for training in library and IT skills should the
security situation in Iraq at any time preclude training sessions there. English
and Arabic-language library assistance is also available at the National
1.4 IT. Clearly,
not just the university, but wider
Details of meetings and site visits, with first steps to be executed pending final approvals, follow below.
While the national museum of antiquities was famously looted, the museum’s library director Zainat al-Samakri and her staff managed to save its library collections. The staff is unboxing the collection and, with Department of State funding, the library will soon be wired for computers and Internet connectivity. Zainat wholeheartedly supports this opportunity to implement ILS and expand awareness of her collection beyond the confines of the museum’s walls.
While not specifically a brief of our project, we did note an issue with profound implications for the long-term success of archaeological training and research—and of immediate import for the preservation of archaeological sites and antiquities. While we and others both independently and through DOS cultural affairs representative John Russell have provided archaeological site lists and coordinates on an ad hoc basis to several military entities, we have now answered several redundant requests. Clearly, a permanent liaison mechanism for communication of these to construction planners and security forces is needed to prevent inadvertent site destruction during and following Phase IV.
We offer several recommendations.
1. Over the immediate term, we can provide existing, georeferenced site catalogs to an appropriate topographic entity for production and distribution to relevant construction planners, contractors, and CMOCs. We note that the CPA is already producing map overlays for other aspects of infrastructure development. Since we can supply the geocoded data, doing these for known archaeological sites would be a trivial task.
2. At the same time, regional antiquities
representatives—already resident in and assigned to local directorates by the
Ministry of Culture/National Museum of Antiquities—should be appointed as
liaisons to CMOCS and CPA/USAID construction planning authorities, and included
in briefings on construction planning or military basing activity likely to
impact local terrain. These representatives are already well-acquainted with
sensitive archaeological sites and antiquities in their areas, and will remain
as institutional memory of ongoing projects after military rotation or CPA
3. Over the near and longer term, these reps—some of whom
will be candidates for the M.A. program offered at SUNY under this project—should be introduced to GIS trainers from the Ministry of Planning
as well as the HIC map center and support group,
so that they can learn to update and maintain site maps for the museum and
liaison offices. This might be conducted as an independent workshop, or run
concomitant with SUNY’s GIS training modules in
3.2 Archaeology Department. We met with the department chair, director of research, librarian, and other faculty and students, who have moved the departmental collection to two rooms on the first floor, and are now undertaking a hand-written inventory. Some 4500 (mostly Arabic, and few post-dating 1980) books and journals were saved, but suffered smoke damage in the April riots, and the entire card catalog was lost.
Agreed immediate needs include:
1. Turn the outside corridor into an adjacent reading room.
2. Rehab both spaces with shelving for books and current periodicals, tables, chairs, a photocopy machine, computers with internet connections and a printer, and air conditioning. We plan to begin wiring in February.
3. Clean, inventory, and properly shelve the collection.
4. Procure printed materials since 1980—books, journals, American dissertations, and maps. Students stressed the need for publications on the entire ancient Near East. Faculty stressed the need to include Islamic-era archaeological materials. We will send materials; the librarian will receive and register them and put them into use.
5. Bind or wrap the paperbound materials, and digitize or bind photocopies of deteriorated books.
6. Computerize the catalog and give the librarian and her students training in basic computer skills and in the specific library software. She will send a regular report.
7. Add a departmental computer lab on the second floor, where steel gates provide additional security for the teaching museum wing, now undergoing replastering and painting. We suggest refitting the plaster-cast lab as a multimedia center, with a computer lab installed in perimeter benches, and hands-on teaching and display cases in the room’s center. This approach allows students to compare study pieces with world-wide collection catalogs.
8. Provide updated field survey equipment, with technology and GIS training.
The library is one of five
1. Redo the wiring in the library and install some computers;
2. Put in a CD tower to manage Silver Platter and other databases on CDs;
3. Order post-1995 environmental health books;
4. Subscribe to a basic set of print or electronic environmental health journals,
5. Establish a document delivery service for environmental health articles found on indexes but not held at the library.
Agreed needs are:
1. Purchase for the library 10 computers and printers, provide the library and the archaeology department with internet connections, and connect the two via wireless.
2. Send books and journals. Jirjis will receive and catalog the materials and send regular reports. Dean Al-Azzawi will give him an email address.
3. Subscribe to Anthropological Literature online, and figure out document delivery later.
4. Provide updated field survey equipment with technology and GIS training.
1. Hailoo (SBU) will contact the
2. Once that is in place, we will purchase 10 computers for the library to support all aspects of medical education and research. The dean of the medical college is responsible for their installation and support and for basic computer training.
3. For environmental health subjects only, Ayyub will send ILL requests to SBU. This probably will have to be via email when that is functioning.
4. Once the computers are functioning, Filstrup will arrange for Medline training, probably from the Baghdad U. Medical Librarian.
5. SBU will subscribe to a core set of environmental health journals for
the medical library and will begin shipment of environmental health books
published in the last five years. SBU arrange transport to
 See <http://www.ctw-congress.de/4icaane/>.
 General contractors active in
 At the Palace, unclassified examples line the hallway enroute to the first-floor women’s restroom.