IFLE - International and Foreign Language Education
Home Programs Search Conferences Contact Us FAQ & Help
TICFIA Project   printer-friendly-version
Program: Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access
Award Number: P337A090019
Grant Period: 10/01/2009 - 09/30/2013
World Area: International
2009:  $321,946
2010:  $160,973
Total:  $482,919
Institution: Yale University
Project Director: Ann Okerson
155Whitney Avenue Room 214
P.O. Box 208337, Connecticut 06520
Tel: 2034321764
Fax: 2034328527
Email: ann.okerson@yale.edu
TICFIA Proposal – Yale University Library: A Gateway to Gazettes G2G)


The Gateway to Gazettes Project (G2G) proposes to take two unusually valuable resources, the gazettes of independent Syria and British Mandate Palestine for the period 1919-48, and make them widely available to scholars. Official gazettes are the documents of record in which governments publish their laws and regulations, comprising bills, acts, regulations, decrees, and the like. For emerging nations, these documents are unusually rich sources for economic, legal, political, social, and cultural history; but precisely for such nations, access to these documents may be challenging. The gazettes have been difficult to locate and use, can be printed on bad paper, and are erratically collected. For a contested and important slice of modern Middle Eastern (ME) history, this project has every prospect of supporting major scholarly advance and a better-informed public debate.

Yale University Library, working closely with the Yale Law School, aims to bring together two key collections of Middle Eastern official gazettes held by Yale Library; the Syrian gazette in printed format (one of the unique copies extant in the United States) and the Palestine Gazette on 40 microfilm reels plus 5 supplementary print volumes. The project will create a
digital representation of the publications and thus establish a basis for ongoing collaborative collections of digitized ME official gazettes. Our successful project will include these critical components:
1) Collection Building: A digital collection of the Syrian Official Gazette and the Palestine Gazette will be formed by identifying, and appropriately cataloguing full runs of both serial publications;
2) Digitization: The selection (approximately 120,000 pages in some 90 volumes of Arabic-English and Arabic-French content) will be digitized 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 – and made available for scholars through a searchable web interface;
3) Research & Development: The development of a web-based tool to create multi-lingual finding aids will facilitate searching and foster standardized cataloguing. Active links to an existing resource on law, government, and diplomacy (e.g. the Avalon Project at Yale Law School) will expand the use of the gazettes collection. Research on cross-repository searching, transparent to the user, will enhance access to content as, in future, holdings of other national gazettes are added to the G2G project; and
4) Technical Knowledge Sharing: Complete documentation of methods, standards, and other best practices for archiving and distributing newly digitized objects among current and future partners will form a knowledge base for the technical communities supporting academic interests and needs.

To meet these objectives, Yale University Library requests funding to build a collection of ME official gazettes. The infrastructure development to provide integrated access has three
R&D goals: 1) a multi-lingual metadata / finding-aid-generation tool; 2) cross- repository searching that can be initiated from any future partner’s repository; and 3) best practices extensible to future partners. Collection users will search and read digitized gazettes without subscription or registration. This project will give scholars and others powerful and meaningful access to an important resource. From the associated research and active outreach, the project team will encourage other US and foreign institutions to join the project. Built-in searching capabilities, finding aid creation and metadata sharing will further illustrate the scalability of the system design, responding to the needs of 21st century scholars and students by providing access to materials of scholarly importance without the impediments of politics and travel.
Languages: Countries:
United Kingdom
West Bank
Disciplines: Subjects:
Political science
Public administration
Public policy
Real estate
Area Studies
Foreign Language Across the Curriculum