Digitization of Arabic - Language Books Conference
February 21-25, 2006

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is organizing the “Digitization of Arabic-Language Books Conference” from 21 to 25 February 2006 in cooperation with Stanford University Library and Yale University, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The main aim is to foster the development of an international cooperative effort for digitization of Arabic-language books.

The event will include a closed workshop, from 21 to 25 February 2006, in conjunction with the invitational conference from 22 to 23 February 2006. The mission for the planning group is to scope a project for Digitization of Arabic Language books, including both technical and collections aspects, and draft a proposal for funding it. The members of the planning group will include people from the Stanford University, Yale University, the British Library, Oxford University, the BA and others.

The international conference is for representatives of appropriate institutions, intended to introduce, explain, and seek strategic input for our intention of establishing a permanent digital core of Arabic books for both academic and popular use. The conference participants will include leaders of Arabic librarianship and digitization experts from Egypt, the wider Middle East, North Africa, the U.K. and the U.S.A..

This project will bridge many divides, and will have the effect of sharing expertise between Arab World professionals with both technical exposure and (of course) language skills, and Western librarian/technicians with a track record of scalable digitization projects as well as a trans-national perspective for collection development. The beneficiaries of this collaboration, beside the participations themselves, will be the global community of Arabic-readers, researchers and learners.

The expected outcome will be a coordinated approach to funding for large scale, efficient, consistent, useful digitization of Arabic literatures, and thus eventually to making those literatures available globally. In addition, to Technical documents and a roadmap of Arabic digitization plans.