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The Digital Asia Library   printer-friendly-version
Program: Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access
Award Number: P337A990014
Grant Period: 10/01/1999 - 02/15/2003
World Area: Asia
1999:  $175,000
2000:  $175,000
2001:  $200,000
Total:  $550,000
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Director: Sandra Pfahler
728 State St.
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Tel: 6082622770
Email: frazier@macc.wisc.edu
The United States has long held vital economic and strategic interests in Asia. Such interests are likely to continue well into the twenty-first century for economic, demographic, strategic, and political reasons. As such, informed citizens must understand Asia and Asian events not only from American perspectives, but also from the perspectives of the people and governments of Asia broadly defined to include the span of countries from the Indian subcontinent through the Pacific Rim and China.
Beginning in 1999 the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota, and The Ohio State University, will join forces to create a Web-based Digital Asia Library (DAL). The DAL will provide a Web-based user-friendly, searchable, catalog through which users can access the growing number of Web resources originating in Asia. It will provide the scholarly, policy, and/or business communities with streamlined access to Internet sites which project librarians have reviewed and evaluated to exclude resources which are of low quality or relevance to understanding of Asia. In doing so, DAL will establish an entry point through which any World Wide Web user can access quality Asian materials that too often are neither easily identifiable nor useable due to the limitations of existing search engines.
The project has identified the research and curricular needs of the higher education community as the focal point of resource identification and selection, but also anticipates interest in and use of the resource by business, government, media, and other audiences. At the end of three years, the DAL Web site will include up to 10,000 reviewed, authoritative, active links to Asian web sites. In addition, the DAL partnership will work with the Association of Research Libraries and the Association for Asian Studies to explore the viability of creating a refereed electronic journal for Asian studies in the United States and overseas.
The Wisconsin-Minnesota-Ohio partnership is organized around the area studies library strengths of the research libraries of the respective institutions. Library specialists in China and Southeast Asia at Wisconsin, South Asia at Minnesota, and Japan at the Ohio State University will identify, evaluate, select, and catalog on-line documents available from a range of academic, government, and commercial sources originating in their respective regions. During these processes, project librarians will consult with faculty and staff affiliated with National Resource Centers in South, Southeast, and East Asian Studies, Centers for International Business Education and Research, and/or National Foreign Language Resource Centers at the respective institutions.
Overall project development will be guided by an appointed advisory board which will ensure that project parameters and priorities meet the needs of such centers and programs. This board will be chaired and appointed by the principal investigator, and will include specialists in area studies and electronic information from the partner institutions, the Association for Research Libraries, the Association for Asian Studies, and other bodies as appropriate.
The DAL Web site will be maintained on the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System server, and will include English-language resources and those published electronically in Roman and non-Roman alphabets in such languages as Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Thai. Materials in the DAL will support teaching and research at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels, and will be of particular benefit to scholars who do not typically have access to the expertise of area bibliographers or the resources of a major research library.
The catalog will include current information and data suitable for use as reading materials and/or research resources, such as Asian newspapers, journals, governments, and other primary documents used in lieu of or in addition to published textbooks. It is expected that instructors who are developing digitized reading materials for courses in the less commonly taught languages, for which standardized texts often are not available, will benefit from access to Asian-language resources selected for the DAL. Other resources, particularly English-language electronic publications, may be appropriate for use as outreach programs and/or by the policy community.
Designed to accommodate diverse information location and retrieval strategies, the DAL catalog will feature a user-friendly interface and will offer three major vehicles through which users can locate resources: hierarchically organized topical menus for browsing, searches using pre-determined categories either singly or in combination; and, open-ended keyword searches. It will establish links to resources that are retrievable in one or more of the following electronic formats: indexed references and/or full text documents that are now available as Web publications; downloadable publications in PDF format; materials available through on-demand document delivery services; sound; and/or video.
Discipline: Subjects:
Technology management