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Cooperative Digitization of International Research Materials   printer-friendly-version
Program: Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access
Award Number: P337A090015
Grant Period: 10/01/2009 - 09/30/2012
World Area: International
2009:  $379,072
2010:  $189,536
Total:  $568,608
Institution: American Institute for Yemeni Studies
Project Director: Maria Ellis
33 St Pauls Road
Ardmore, Pennsylvania 19003
Tel: 6108965412
Fax: 6108969049
Email: mellis@sas.upenn.edu
Web: www.cdirm.org, www.dlir.org/cdirm-home.html
Cooperative Digitization of International Research Materials

Objectives: The project will utilize participating American overseas research centers’ (AORC) connections to collaborate with foreign archives and special collections that hold unique and rare research materials, to digitize selected materials, and to provide new foreign information access for American scholars and students by disseminating these materials on the Internet. This project will further TICFIA statutory provisions by:
--accessing, organizing, preserving, and widely disseminating in electronic form currently unavailable materials in prioritized target collections that address our nation’s teaching and research needs in international education and foreign languages;
--promoting collaborative technology-based projects in foreign languages, area studies, and international studies through the Digital Library for International Research (DLIR);
--providing new means of shared electronic access through: detailed descriptive information about selected archive and rare collections in a unified online finding aid; online union catalogs of holdings with consolidated item-level bibliographic searching; and full-text and image online access for prioritized subsets of the collections;
--disseminating resources in non-Roman language alphabets (primarily various Arabic dialects, Tibetan, and Mongolian, but potentially also Ottoman Turkish and Armenian) and helping teachers of less commonly taught languages acquire materials for classroom use electronically;
--strengthening linkages between US and overseas institutions; and
--complementing other Title VI funding.

Significance and need: The photographic, ethnographic, archaeological, cartographic, and other research support materials from Guatemala, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Yemen, and Mongolia that will be cataloged and digitized through this project are unique and valuable resources for scholars. Not only are most of these materials uncataloged, unavailable, or unknown to scholars, they are extremely difficult to access (because of location, privacy, or bureaucratic obstacles). This project will make these materials easily and freely available to scholars around the world.

Activities: We will: select and describe the data or research materials noted above from various locations around the world; digitize the materials; prepare the materials for web access; and conduct evaluations. Project results will be disseminated freely through the DLIR and participating institutions’ web sites as well as through presentations at national scholarly conferences. The potential target audience includes not just US scholars, teachers, and students who wish to access research support materials from the wide variety of cultures included in this project, but scholars from around the world.

Project design: The project is interregional and interdisciplinary, addresses the needs of US area studies and language scholars, and serves scholars in many world areas and academic fields.

Management, personnel, & resources: All project personnel have worked together successfully to implement DLIR activities to date. By centralizing management in the DLIR, we ensure project cost-efficiency, coherence, and consistency, while working with the AORCs to address local conditions and priorities. We will implement the project utilizing committed resources from CAORC, the participating AORCs and educational institutions, and overseas partners.

Evaluation: We will use end-user surveys and statistical analysis to ensure we meet the needs of the international research community; cull quantitative data from Google Analytics; use online user surveys; and potentially may test educational modules for the mapping component through a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, as was done for an earlier mapping project.

Postscript: After funding for this grant program was canceled after the first two of four planned years, the scope of this project was revised to limit or discontinue work in several areas of the Middle East, as described in the narrative sections of this report.
Languages: Countries:
Arabic, Classical
Arabic, Modern Standard
Arabic, Tunisian
Disciplines: Subjects:
Architecture/urban and regional planning
Area studies
Ethnic studies
Foreign languages and literature
Global/international relations and studies
Interdisciplinary studies
International/area studies
Political science
Project management
Public administration
Religious studies
Instructional Materials
Interdisciplinary Studies
K-12 Teacher Education
Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL)
Multidisciplinary Studies
Surveys And Studies