HMML’s digitization work provides an insurance policy for the owners, who know that the contents of their manuscripts will be preserved even in case of loss or damage to the originals. HMML’s photographs can also provide proof of ownership in case of theft. Providing scholarly access to manuscripts raises awareness of the owning institution or community. Deeper study of the manuscripts increases their significance and value.
In the past, western museums, libraries, and private collectors acquired manuscripts from the Middle East, Ethiopia, and other regions by means that would be considered illegal or at least unethical today. Entire libraries were alienated from their original communities.
HMML believes that manuscripts should remain in their communities and countries of origin. High-quality digital imaging ensures that the contents of manuscripts, including even minor details, will be preserved for centuries to come and readily available for researchers and communities of origin.