On Saturday, the Qatar Foundation for Education (QF), Qatar National Library (QNL) and British Library unveiled the next step of their unique collaboration, which will last until December 2018, following on from the initial partnership announced in 2012.

Aiming to raise awareness of the rich history of the Gulf and Middle East, phase two will see the digitisation of 1,125,000 pages of rare, historical documents that will be shared with the public through QNL's online Qatar Digital Library, as they hope enhance current understanding of the Islamic world and Arab culture.

The QR's mission is to create a progressive, engaged society that is appreciative of its heritage and traditions, furthering learning and knowledge in support of the country's priorities as set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030 scheme.

 Qatar Library to digitise over 1 million documents in collaboration with British Library

The second phase will also focus on digitizing historical documents from Britain's Indian Office Archive including papers of the Political and Secret Department, political and military records, letters, photographs, maps and medieval manuscripts relating to the Gulf and Arab region.

Additionally, the project will highlight 56,000 pages of Arab Islamic Sciences manuscripts, and approximately 100,000 pages from private papers including those of Lady Anne Blunt – who is thought to be the first woman to cross the Arabian Desert in the 19th century.

Saad Al Muhannadi, president of Qatar Foundation, said: "This planned new material will preserve and add rich new insights into the history of Qatar, the Gulf region and Arab and Islamic history and culture."