Archnet is an international online community of scholars, students, and professionals addressing the built environment in Muslim societies. The aim is to provide a high-quality, globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation.
Archnet provides ready access to visual and textual material to facilitate teaching, scholarship, and professional work of high quality; and promotes sharing of intellectual resources and expertise, debate, and critical thinking within the community. This is achieved by providing images, publications, and databases accessible through the Archnet Digital Library. This is an unparallel resource that continues to grow with both the addition of historic archives and documentation on contemporary building trends shaping the built environment today.
Archnet was officially launched in 2002 as a partnership between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has since evolved into the largest, open, online architectural library with a focus on the Muslim cultures. Its digital archives form a comprehensive resource on architecture, urban design and development, and related issues. Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam.
The new Archnet, being developed in 2013, is a collaboration between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries. Together, these institutions share an integral education mission to generate and disseminate knowledge and resources; provide fora for debate and discussion; showcase best practices and lessons learned; and, present Muslim visual and material culture with historic, cultural, and geographic specificity.
Archnet works closely with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and all its programmes as well as with the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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