BUILDING A NATIONAL HERITAGE REGISTRY FOR THE SUDAN: THE FRIEDRICH W. HINKEL ARCHIVE DIGITIZATION PROJECT
Keywords: Heritage Registry, Heritage Preservation, Digitization, Archival Material, Sudan
Abstract. The Republic of the Sudan is home to outstanding and diverse cultural heritage ranging from Neolithic sites of human activity and settlement to historic sites of the 19th and 20th century. While certain phases of the Sudan’s cultural heritage such as the period of Egyptian influence during the second and first millennium B.C. have been the focus of archaeological research since the 19th century, other aspects of the country’s rich history have remained largely unknown locally and internationally due to a lack of documentation and registration of such sites. Since 2014, the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has been engaged in an effort to support the creation of a national heritage registry in close cooperation with the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) by digitizing the archive of German architect Friedrich W. Hinkel and engaging in capacity building measures focusing on analog and digital data curation. The archive contains structured information (photos, drawings, maps and assembled written documentation) regarding over 14,000 archaeological and historical sites in the Sudan using an alphanumeric coding system that allows for easy integration of data in a digital environment such as the DAI’s IT infrastructure, the iDAI.world. As such the data assembled by Hinkel will serve as the basis of the national heritage registry currently in development.