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STAGE > Turkish theater memory kept in a digital library

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency

A digital library formed by the State Theaters maintains the history of Turkish theater dating back from 1949. It is the first library in Turkey to specialize in theater, says State Theaters General Director Lemi Bilgin

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All visual and printed materials from Turkish theater plays since 1949 are being stored in Ankara’s Refik Ahmet Sevengil Digital Library in a systematic way, says State
Theaters General Director Lemi Bilgin (above). The library is open for researchers and theater lovers six days a week and can also be visited online. AA photos

All visual and printed materials from Turkish theater plays since 1949 are being stored in Ankara’s Refik Ahmet Sevengil Digital Library in a systematic way, says State Theaters General Director Lemi Bilgin (above). The library is open for researchers and theater lovers six days a week and can also be visited online. AA photos

The Refik Ahmet Sevengil Theater Library, bearing the name of Turkey’s first theater history writer, is home to every detail of 2,654 theater plays staged since 1949 in its digital archive. The library was formed by the State Theaters General Directorate (DT) to store artifacts of Turkish theater.

Refik Ahmet Sevengil Theater Library, located in the DT General Headquarters, was Turkey’s first library specialized in theater, said DT General Director Lemi Bilgin.

The project’s purpose was to contribute to the cultural vocabulary of Turkish theater and to transfer this richness to future generations, Bilgin said. All visual and printed materials from plays had been stored in the library in a systematic way.

The formation of the project took between five and six years, according to Bilgin. “Various documents from 2,654 plays staged by DT in various parts of Turkey since 1949, such as brochures, posters, photographs, visuals and musical records, press articles, and such things were kept in archives. Also, documents from 100 plays that are staged every season were collected and included in this archive,” he said.

Bilgin said all the materials were examined by a team in detail and transferred to the Refik Ahmet Sevengil Theater Library Digital Play Information System, which was formed on June 10, 2011.

All plays just one click away

With the development of technology, the quality of visuals and photographs had improved, Bilgin said. “All printed and visual materials about all the festivals and other events organized by our provincial directorates and general headquarters are being archived in our digital archive. Among the first documents we have visuals from is ‘Don Quixote,’ staged by DT in 1968. Of course they are not high quality like current visuals. Because the visuals we have get better in parallel with the development of technology, the visuals from the last 10 years are much better and of higher quality,” Bilgin said.

Despite a play having been staged in Van the library’s digital system allows people in Ankara or in İzmir to be able to see it, Bilgin said. “Theater is a living thing. It is very different to feel the atmosphere of a theater hall but our main purpose is to transfer this extensive knowledge to future generations. In this library, hundreds of Turkish and foreign artists will shed light on the development of a society.”

Bilgin said the archive became larger every other day as well the interest of citizens.

It is possible to reach information in the library for free with just one click. It is open for researchers and theater lovers six days a week. It can also be visited online.

June/22/2012

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