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The Digital Assets Repository (DAR) is a system developed by the BA International School of Information Science (ISIS) to create and maintain the Library's digital collections. DAR acts as a repository that preserves and archives all types of media (including books, slides, negatives, manuscripts, maps, audio and video) and provides public access to these digitized collections through web-based search and browsing facilities. The system is easy to integrate with any web-based interoperable digital library as it is based on evolving standards. Over 210,000 books and 35,000 images are now available online. All out-of-copyright books are available in full for Internet users. For books that are in copyright, Internet users can browse only 5% of the book. However, they are available from within BA, with simultaneous access limited to the number of physical copies available at the Library. Content-based search is performed on all books; the online collection is searchable by author, title, or subject.
Initiated by Carnegie Mellon University, the primary long-term objective of this project is to transfer books into digital format, in partnerships with other scanning centers internationally, in order to create a Universal Digital Library (UDL) which will foster creativity and free access to human knowledge. The project also aims at providing a test-bed supporting research on improved scanning techniques, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), intelligent indexing, machine translation, and information retrieval. BA is taking the lead in scanning and digitizing 75,000 Arabic books in a three-year time frame. By October 2008, over 90,000 books were digitized and processed. The BA has also designed and implemented a database for the books, metadata and digitization status and set standards for the process of digitization in order to improve the quality of the scanning, processing, and OCR phases. The complete cycle of the workflow to produce digital books has been automated and integrated with the Library Information System. The database was further expanded into a Digital Assets Repository (DAR) accommodating various other types of digitized material including slides in multi-formats, negatives, books, manuscripts, pictures and maps, audio and video.
On 21 April, 2009 and in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the world witnessed the launching of the World Digital Library. The project has been initiated by the Library of the Congress with the technical assistance of BA as per the signed agreement between both parties back in 2007, where the areas of cooperation were outlined for building the World Digital Library, namely:
This massive project aims at bridging the world cultures, where the World Digital Library provides unrestricted public access, free of charge, to manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, sound recordings, prints and photographs in 7 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish).
Over 2 million objects from ancient Egypt exist in about 850 public collections, dispersed over 69 countries around the world. The Global Egyptian Museum website aims to collect objects from this scattered collection into a global virtual museum, that can be freely accessed at any time, from any place. This website is a long-term project, hosted by CULTNAT under the auspices of the International Committee for Egyptology (CIPEG). Currently, the website includes artifacts from 13 European museums in 7 languages in addition to artifacts from 2 museums in Egypt, where the Arabic language has been added to it. The Basic Mode, currently showcasing 1314 highlights, is geared to the interested public. A glossary of more than 400 items explains Egyptian terms and themes. Many objects are provided with audio comments and 3D-movies. The Advanced Mode, equipped with a powerful search and data entry engine, opens up the full database - presently 14812 objects - to professionals and amateurs. Kids! offers information for children at the age of 8-12 years in an interactive way.
The Documentation of the Ministry of Awqaf Drawings
This is an ongoing joint project between the BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex Med) and the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf (Endowments). The main objective is to document and classify the information from a collection of about 450 drawings and plates from the Ministry of Awqaf. These drawings, which are of m...
For the past five years, the Egyptian Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CultNat) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), together with IBM, have been working to bring the awe-inspiring experience of Egypt to the world through a project known as ‘Eternal Egypt.’ It represents a...
Digital Manuscript Library
The publication of digital manuscript sets comes in conformity with the BA's mission to adopt modern digital technologies. The Digital Manuscript Library project aims at publishing the manuscript treasures of Arabic heritage in digital form. The year 2007 witnessed the release of the fifth and sixth sets of the Digital Man...
Access to Knowledge (A2K)
In fulfillment of its mission as a center of excellence for the dissemination of knowledge and for dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and people, the BA has developed a growing interest in issues relating to access to knowledge (A2K), promotion of innovation and creativity, and intellectual property (IP)...
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a global project to bring together, on infinitely expandable web pages, information about all of the approximately 1.9 million species of plants, animals and microorganisms on Earth. As a collaborative effort of tens of thousands of people with expertise around the world, the EOL project a...
The webcast service provides live
and archived access to all the conferences, lectures and presentations taking place
at the BA.
is a system developed at the BA, to create, reserve, and maintain the Library's
digital books and collections.