Iraq - Libraries and museums





The National Library in Baghdad, founded in 1961, housed 417,000 volumes in 2002. Two noteworthy academic libraries are the Central Library of the University of Baghdad (700,000 volumes) and the Central Library of the University of Mosul (943,000 volumes). One of the country's outstanding libraries is the Iraqi Museum Library (founded 1934), with modern research facilities and more than 229,000 volumes, many of them rare editions. The Directorate of Antiquities in Baghdad housed a library of 38,000 volumes. There are public library branches in many provincial capitals. Arsonists and looters ransacked the libraries of Iraq in 2003 following the war, and it is believed the damage is extensive.

With the exception of the National History Research Center and Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, museums are under the control of the Department of the Directorate-General of Antiquities in Baghdad. Two of the most outstanding collections are at the Iraqi Museum in Baghdad, which contains antiquities dating from the early Stone Age, and the Mosul Museum. The Abbasid Palace Museum and the Museum of Arab Antiquities, both located in Baghdad, are housed in restored buildings from the 13th and 14th centuries, respectively. Iraq's museums and antiquities suffered extensive damage following the war in 2003. Looters and arsonists devastated the country's cultural heritage.

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