WASHINGTON, DC—The Whiting Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) $170,000 (£130,000) to design, implement, and launch a prototype Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME). Other partners in the initiative will be The Antiquities Coalition and five universities and together they will create a proof of concept for a large-scale digital library of cultural artifacts from the Middle East and North Africa. Technical implementation and IT support will be provided by Stanford University Libraries.
The DLME aims to create a globally available resource in partnership with collaborators throughout the region, providing detailed descriptions and images of artifacts, along with information about the objects’ history, ownership, and legal status.
The prototype will focus initially on collections held in the United States, and will be the first step in developing a technical platform that can be used to aggregate collections globally. Around 100,000 objects, including text, video, photographs, archives, manuscripts, and maps illuminating the history of the Middle East and North Africa, will be included in the proof of concept. The prototype will be available in English and Arabic; the DLME is currently engaging with and preparing partnerships at museums and other cultural institutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
In addition to the technical effort, the project will create three exhibitions based on the DLME. Each will be devised for specific audiences, such as scholars, students, and the public, to create user cases and test functionality.
CLIR expects to launch the prototype by the end of 2017.
For more information on the DLME, visit https://www.clir.org/initiatives-partnerships/DLME.