narrative_IRS_v041609.doc - Yale University Library International Research and Studies Program(03 Instructional Materials A Virtual Arabic Reading Room

narrative_IRS_v041609.doc - Yale University Library...

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Yale University Library International Research and Studies Program: (03) Instructional Materials A Virtual Arabic Reading Room Abstract Yale University Library proposes to create a digital reading room based on a careful selection of pre-1923 reference materials focusing on the language, history, and geography of the Middle East from the holdings at Yale University and Georgetown University. We will apply technical expertise in the digitization of Arabic text garnered from previous projects completed at Yale. This project will produce, for researchers working in the field of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, an open and freely accessible archive of instructional materials and a set of tools that will: create in digital form the equivalent of an Arabic and Middle Eastern Reading Room – like those available in the best libraries worldwide – by converting reference materials in Arabic and Western scripts (primarily Latin, German, Spanish, and French) such as dictionaries, grammars, maps, bibliographies, and article indices into full text digital entries in an organized and searchable repository using best current technology including state-of- the-art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for Arabic text – a technology where Yale is one of a handful of the most advanced practitioners in the world; integrate and make accessible online existing and newly digitized reference resources in a consolidated depository of scholarly information (reference works, selected maps, full-text journals, and other materials) to address the needs of a wide range of patrons – from the Arabic 101 student to the senior faculty member; develop a pedagogical tool for use by faculty and students in the classroom by which it is possible to select, add, and integrate digital reference materials, from the project repository, and present these in a customized and common virtual space for teaching and learning tasks. To reach these goals, the project will focus on three complementary efforts: Digitization endeavor: Based on a selection of important reference materials held by both libraries and using international standards for digitization of Arabic-language materials, we will create digital copies of all selected materials for deposit (approximately 125,000 pages, 165 titles, 6 in microform, along with 11 maps) into a freely accessible repository. Integration project: Following best practices for digital library sustainability, we will integrate newly digitized maps, dictionaries, grammars, bibliographies, and article indices with the existing AMEEL digital library of full text journal articles developed at Yale. Drawing on the expertise of Map specialists, librarians, and Information Technology specialists, we plan to provide cross-referencing functionality among complementary materials, for example using Geographic Information System data from maps to link to relevant article or dictionary entries.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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