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Yale University Library and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) seek to improve online access to trans-Atlantic collections of digitized manuscripts, manuscript catalogs, and dictionaries by creating a virtual archive, open and freely accessible, for researchers working in the field of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. This project responds to needs identified in the 2008 Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)report entitled “Review of User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies,” prepared and submitted to JISC by the University of Exeter.

Yale-SOAS Islamic Manuscript Gallery

Latest News (July 2011): This project is now complete and the digitised manuscripts can be accessed via both universities. SOAS have an interace via their Digital Archives & Special Collections, whereas Yale have embedded the materials in their Arabic and Middle Eastern Electronic Library

Overview

This project responds to needs identified in the 2008 Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)report entitled “Review of User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies,” prepared and submitted to JISC by the University of Exeter.

Aims and Objectives

This project aims to:

  • Create an integrated set of full-text digital resources supporting manuscript research from manuscript catalogues and dictionaries, many of which exist only in printed form withpublication dates from the19th century, by converting materials in Arabic, Persian, and Western scripts (primarily Latin, German, Spanish, and French) and depositing these intosearchable repositories;
  • Augment existing digital collections of Arabic and Persian manuscripts by scanning,depositing, and indexing selected Yale- and SOAS-held historical manuscripts, which highlight the contribution made to world knowledge by Arab philosophers, physicians, and scientists;
  • Develop an infrastructure to integrate manuscripts with related reference resources by building a suite of tools that will analyze digitized materials and construct internal crossreferencesfor connecting the materials in the archive. The tools, which are to include cross-collection searching, will enable patrons to explore the united collections simultaneously. Further, they will serve as a scalable and extensible model for other special collections and libraries rich in manuscripts and related reference materials.

Documents & Multimedia

Summary
Start date
1 September 2009
End date
28 February 2011
Funding programme
Digitisation and Content
Strand
International Projects
Project website
Lead institutions
Topic