British Library looks for help with Qatar Foundation partnership

The British Library is hunting for comms help to promote an £8.7m awareness-raising venture with a Qatari government-backed charitable group.

Qatari project: The British Library is documenting Arabic history

PRWeek understands the UK's national library is in talks with agencies around the work it is doing with the Qatar Foundation. It is documenting Arabic history and culture, with the aim of improving Brits' awareness of the Middle East.

The Qatar Foundation is a state-run non-profit organisation focusing on education, scientific research and community development. It is run by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned, the wife of Qatar ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

The Qatar Foundation is now working with The British Library to bring more than half a million pages of documentation online for the first time. The three-year scheme will involve various stages and is understood to be part of wider efforts to digitise the library's 150 million items.

It is believed that the brief will revolve around both stakeholder engagement and raising the profile of the project, which was launched in the summer.

A joint statement released by The British Library and the Qatar Foundation said: 'The British Library and the Qatar National Library are currently going through a process of identifying a PR agency to support the comms aspect of the joint British Library/Qatar Foundation partnership project to digitise collections relating to Gulf history.'

In recent years the Qatar Foundation has agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona and teamed up with The Wikimedia Foundation to support the growth of Arabic Wikimedia.

Earlier this year PRWeek reported that The British Library had appointed former Weber Shandwick lobbyist Susan Adams to the role of head of advocacy.

Last November, the Qatar Foundation selected Brown Lloyd James and Grayling to handle its global PR activities, worth upwards of £2m.

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