Prince Sultan Ibn Salman Islamic Architectural Heritage Database

IRCICA maintains the Prince Sultan bin Salman Islamic Architectural Heritage Database relating to the Islamic sites and monuments that are part of the architectural heritage of the Muslim world. This major initiative was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of H.R.H. Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and Chairman and Founder of Al Turath Foundation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The program to establish a database was included in the work plans of IRCICA in 2006 and commended by the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers and the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers in their successive sessions over the years.

The database program aims to register the Islamic archeological and architectural heritage assets around the world, depict them by recording comprehensive information on their history and present state, their environment, description of their geographical location, photographs and plans, facts and figures, features, past and present functions, restorations done, etc., and by that way, to offer reliable references and contribute to their preservation and promotion. The database includes all sorts of information, in a way to meet the needs of pertinent research disciplines and sectors of activity – archeology, architecture, tourism, etc. Maintenance of the database involves regular updating. In addition to data collected and elaborated by IRCICA, information is collected and provided to IRCICA by the government institutions and non-governmental organizations in charge or dealing with preservation of monuments in OIC member countries, and in other countries having Islamic architectural heritage. These data are processed in the Central Base Unit operated by IRCICA using the internationally adopted criteria for selection and collation.

About the Program

– Taking into consideration work gaining experiences, technology development and enlargement of the database network, the program is under permanent improvement and upgrading.
– The program is an Internet based system – it can an be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime; it is open to public, up to date, user-friendly to use, integrated, scalable, reliable, centralized; and has widespread usage, mostly current information, and live update.
– The program makes use of a G.I.S.-based system – all properties are geographically based; the properties can be seen on maps and satellite images based on satellite links. A small set of data with one image is accessible on the Google Map and similar programs.
– There are four data levels of dossier for each property: (a) Basic data; (b) Property per se; (c) Property in urban context; (d) Supporting documents- digital library and archive.
– The basic level is fully accessible for anyone. Other levels are accessible for registered users, partners in the program, or interested parties affiliated to research institutions or projects.

Registration will be regulated by protocols or agreements. The aim is to register 100000 properties by incorporating data to be supplied by the OIC member countries’ concerned institutions.

Program objectives

– To properly document the Islamic Architectural Heritage and make the information it available to all interested
– To create a set of recommendations for preservation and development services integrating tourism industry and supporting activities (e.g. agricultural, use of alternative energies, etc.)
– To develop education and training in the fields related with program activities.
– To support development of arts and crafts program related to specific sites as the contribution to tourism development
– To support identification of key themes and regions where heritage is under-represented, their nomination and documentation, and review and selection processes
– To support post-listing assistance and outreach to site management
– To present heritage globally through: Internet services, TV news programs, publications, seminars, promotion of selected destinations through business and political meetings
– To establish ‘The Virtual Museum of Islamic Arts’ aiming to connect virtually architectural monuments with its dislocated artifacts
– To propose accesses, virtual and physical, to monuments by setting up regional hubs for communication
– To prepare Hypothetical Tourist Routes : regional types, following important historic events, trade roads, Hajj routes, etc.

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