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Africa's Sources of Knowledge Digital Library (ASK_DL)   printer-friendly-version
Program: Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access
Award Number: P337A090009
Grant Period: 10/01/2009 - 09/30/2012
World Area: Africa
Funding:
2009:  $291,958
2010:  $145,979
Total:  $437,937
Institution: Harvard University
Project Director: John Mugane
1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Office for Sponsored Programs/Holyoke 60
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Tel: 6174964995
Fax: 6174962871
Email: mugane@fas.harvard.edu
Web: www.ask-dl.fas.harvard.edu/
 
Abstract:
Project ASK-DL is a pioneering initiative in the identification, recovery, integration, consolidation, and dissemination of information contained in handwritten African documents as well as those available in non-Roman alphabets. In the project ASK-DL the African Language Program at Harvard University will design and construct a digital library that makes accessible rare and out-of-print African language documents of literary and historical importance. Working closely with the Harvard College Library (HCL), project ASK-DL will focus on documents written from eight languages: three West African languages –Berber, Mandinka, Wolof; and five East African languages – Amharic, Oromo, Tigrigna, Somali, and Swahili. The scripts sought in ASK-DL are found in unpublished booklets, poetry, essays, treatises, travelogues, private letters, and other documents. Project ASK-DL will digitize, transliterate, translate into English, annotate, catalog, and index the documents and make them available to the world in a digital library that is intended to grow and expand in its holdings.

ASK-DL will create a portal into which we will integrate electronic resources bibliographic records, abstracts, summations, full texts with their annotation, and audiovisual records. The project will aggregate content, design and build a digital library, collaborate with national and international academics, librarians, and non-academics to assure the quality of ASK-DL documents in both the technical aspects (digitization, web design, user-interface etc.,) and the academic aspects (fieldwork, material selection, transliteration, translation, indexing, cataloguing etc).

Success in this project will avail a working library for any information seeker in a world where scholarship on Africa lags behind other continents due in part to neglect or lack of serious consideration and engagement of its intellectual traditions.
 
Languages: Countries:
Amharic
Bamanankan
Bambara
Fulfulde, Pulaar
Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
Oromo, Qotu
Oromo, West-Central
Somali
Swahili
Tamazight, Central Atlas
Tigrigna
Wolof
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Kenya
Mali
Morocco
Senegal
Somalia
Tanzania
Uganda
 
Disciplines: Subjects:
Area studies
International/area studies
Area Studies
Dissemination
Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL)
Research
 
Abstracts