Beyond Cataloguing Losses: The Oriental Institute’s Iraq Museum Database Project, University of Chicago

Taylor and Francis Online


Among the numerous responses to the looting of the Iraq Museum in April 2003, in the aftermath of the war on Iraq, was the creation of an online database at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute of objects from the Iraq Museum that are presumed to be stolen. This article summarizes the layout and scope of this project and discusses the problems faced by archaeologists in building an archaeological database for a non-specialist audience. It raises the uncomfortable question to what degree museums around the world are prepared to face such disasters and strongly endorses the creation of “digital backups” of their collections.


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Visual Resources

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1, pp. 93-113