Rahin, Rasoul ['Abd al-Rasul]. The history of printing press of Afghanistan (from Shamsulnehar to Jamhouriyat) (1863-1978)[Tarikh-i matbu 'at-i Afghanistan: az Shams al-Nahar ta Jumhuriyat (1863-1973). Volume I. Stockholm: Afghanistan Cultural Association, 2007. OCLC Accession Number: 225459355.
Afghanistan Digital Library aims to "retrieve and restore the first
sixty years of Afghanistan’s published cultural heritage. The project
is collecting, cataloging, digitizing, and making available over the
Internet as many Afghan publications from the period 1871–1930 as it is
possible to identify and locate. In addition to books, this will
eventually include all published serials, documents, pamphlets, and
manuals." Researchers seeking digitized materials are encouraged to
view the bibliography of books, newspapers, and documents.
The printing press in Afghanistan emerged
in the 1870s during the reign of Shīr Alī Khan. The emir inaugurated the
printing age with the purchase of lithograph printing equipment from India.
printed its first newspaper Shams an-nahār in 1873 (1873-1878).
Lithographs (books) printed during 1870-1901 period are listed in G. F. Girs’
work, “Pervye pechatnye knigi Afganistana,”[in Pamiatniki istorii i
literatury vostoka, Moskva, 1986, the list appears on pp. 115-132], with
the following information: title translation in Russian, author, language
of publication, place of publication, annotation, and physical
description. Major serial publications that appeared in Afghanistan
from1905 to 1932 are discussed in Bibliografiia Vostoka (vyp. 5-6, 1934)
[see E.Ė. Bertel’s, “Afganskaia pressa,” pp. 9-26]. E. Ė. Bertel’s lists
publication frequency, names of editors, topical coverage, and the language of
publication. Researchers interested in Afghan publications should also consult Ali Ahmad Saber's work, A Guide to magazines and newspapers of Afghanistan from 1252-1356 (1873-1977) [Kabul: University Printing Press, 1977].
Anjuman Ketab Khana-e-Afghanistan (Afghanistan Library
Association) was established in 1971 by Abdul Rasul Rahim, “a former Kabul
University Librarian.” Anjuman Ketab Khana-e-Afghanistan’s national
objectives included the following: “to promote literacy and libraries in Afghanistan”; “…to improve the status of
librarians and to lobby for a national library system and for a School of Library Science
in KabulUniversity.” The library
Association also embarked on compiling a national bibliography for Afghanistan,
which it “irregularly published”. In 1977, Muhammad Ibrahim Stwodah
[Muhammad Ibrahim Sutudah] and Ahmad Zia Modarrissi’ [Ahmad Ziya Mudarrisi]
published their compiled work, Kitābshināsī-i millī-i Afghānistān [Afghanistan’s
National Bibliography (annotated) July 17, 1973-August 17, 1977]. The
national bibliography was published by Kabul University Library as
"Library Series no. 11." The national bibliography‘s scope
included “…all publications since the proclamation of the Republic in
Afghanistan, in July 17, 1972 (26 of Saratan, 1352) to the time of publishing
this [bibliography]” [Source: World Encyclopedia of Library and Information
Services (Third Edition, Chicago, 1993), "Afghanistan," pp.
36-38; Kitābshināsī-i millī-i Afghānistān,
"Preface," pp. 1-2]. The traumatic events of the past thirty one have prevented Afghanistan from fully restoring the publication of a national bibliography. Since the fall of the Taliban, restoration projects have began to offset the damage caused military conflict at Kabul University Library, the "unofficial" national library of Afghanistan. Researchers interested in the development of libraries in Afghanistan should consult Edward R. Reid-Smith's work, "Library development in Afghanistan"[Unesco bulletin for libraries, v. 28, no. 1, January-February, 1974, pp. 17-21]. For information on the condition and restoration projects currently underway at Afghan libraries, see Rosemary Talab's work, "Kabul University Library in Afghanistan: Postwar Emergence"[International Leads, vo. 16, no. 3, 2002], and Nancy Hatch Dupree's work, "Libraries in [Afghanistan]" [International Preservation News, no. 19, 1999, pp. 20-26].