BGSU, Islamic Center of Greater Toledo help preserve Islamic history

Community Scan Day on May 5 supported by NEH grant

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Community members are invited to bring personal items documenting the history of the Islamic community in the Toledo area to Community Scan Day May 5. Bowling Green State University’s Center for Archival Collections (CAC) and the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (ICGT) are partnering on the event, which was made possible by a $12,000 Common Heritage Grant supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We are excited to partner with the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo to work toward the ongoing preservation of materials documenting the region’s Islamic heritage,” said Michelle Sweetser, head of the Center for Archival Collections. “Muslims have been an important part of the cultural and religious fabric of the area and it is important that we document and preserve that history while we are able to do so.”

 The Community Scan Day is the first in a series of three events that the CAC and ICGT will present as a part of the grant, which is one of 20 awarded by the NEH this year to preserve and make accessible materials important to family and community histories by supporting digitization events and public programming at local cultural organizations. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Islamic Center, 25877 Scheider Road, Perrysburg.

CAC staff members, who will set up digitization stations at the ICGT, will scan materials. Community members who bring materials will go home with their originals as well as digital copies and free supplies to ensure the preservation of the original. With permission, the CAC will add digital copies to its holdings to preserve and make them accessible to the public.

CAC staff members will be able to digitize a wide variety of materials, including photographs, letters, newsletters, scrapbooks, 3D artifacts and audio tape, and can record personal stories documenting the rich history of the Islamic community in the northwest Ohio region. 

“Well-organized archives bridge generations, paying tribute to those who have gone before, connecting their contributions to the current life of our mosque and providing important resources for both the present and the future,” said Nadia Ashraf-Moghal, ICGT president. “Scan Day will be an important step in making that happen.”

The grant also supports the creation of an exhibit that will be installed at the Islamic Center and subsequently on the BGSU campus, as well as a public program in each venue. These events will take place in the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020, respectively.