RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, July 25, 2014

American University of Beirut to create 100,000 volume online Arabic Library

In an article in albawaba Business, the American University of Beirut Libraries have joined Arabic Collections Online (ACO), a five-year project funded by New York University Abu Dhabi that aims to digitize and make accessible worldwide over 100,000 volumes of Arabic content.

Quoting from the article,
Along with New York University Libraries and its partners, the AUB libraries will create the Arabic Collections Online (ACO) project, a major digitization project funded by New York University Abu Dhabi, whose aim is to create a digital library of public-domain Arabic language content of over 100,000 volumes. Partners in this substantial digitization of Arabic content already include numerous prominent North American institutions, and the AUB Libraries are the first ones outside the United States to join the project. The AUB Libraries will contribute several thousand titles from their growing rich and historical Arabic collections in a variety of subjects and disciplines.

The AUB Libraries are widely regarded as one of the best academic libraries in the Middle East and North Africa. Their collections include over 1.2 million volumes of print and electronic books, 10,000 rare and unique books, 10,000 print periodicals (of which 3,500 are in Arabic), 140,000 electronic journals and conference proceedings, 300 electronic databases, hundreds of major reference works, and 1.2 million audiovisual items in various formats (the majority of which are microforms of local and regional newspapers and magazines dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries). The Archives and Special Collections contain 700 linear feet of archival material (including papers of famous Lebanese and Arab intellectuals); 1,400 manuscripts; 9,000 volumes of AUB theses and dissertations dating back to 1907; 5,000 posters; 1,900 maps; and 50,000 photographs. The collections are developed and enriched on an ongoing basis to support the academic and research programs of the AUB, one of the leading universities in the region.
I see almost no news such as this from the Middle East. I have a number of friends and genealogical researchers from Lebanon and I find this to be a significant breakthrough.

2 comments:

  1. Why 100,000 volumes Partners in this substantial digitization of Arabic content already include numerous prominent North American institutions, and the AUB Libraries are the first ones outside the United States to join the project?

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    Replies
    1. Good question. I am merely commenting on the effort being made. I assume that the limitation comes from a lack of funding and other considerations.

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