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Wellcome Arabic Manuscripts:. Building Digital Bridges. Wellcome Library. One of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history 2.5 million books, journals, manuscripts, archives, films and pictorial works from the earliest times to the present day

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Wellcome arabic manuscripts
Wellcome Arabic Manuscripts:

Building Digital Bridges


Wellcome library
Wellcome Library

  • One of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history

  • 2.5 million books, journals, manuscripts, archives, films and pictorial works from the earliest times to the present day

  • Global content (134 languages represented)

  • Based in London and part of the Wellcome Trust


Successful partnership
Successful Partnership

  • Wellcome Library, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and King’s College London

  • International partnership involving members of the World Digital Library

  • Funded by JISC’s Islamic Studies Programme and the Wellcome Trust

  • Long-term commitment

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Our ambition
Our Ambition

  • Provide free and easy global access to valuable intellectual content

  • Create a virtual library with rich descriptive information and detailed images of the objects

  • Enable free reuse and repurpose of images under the Creative Commons Licence

  • Develop a flexible and freely available cataloguing tool

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Content and theme
Content and Theme

  • 500 Arabic manuscripts from 12th to 20th century held by the Wellcome Library

  • From well-known medical texts by famous practitioners to texts by anonymous physicians and rare or unique copies

  • Representing great heritage of classical medicine in the Islamic world, from Southern Spain to South and South-east Asia

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Audience
Audience

  • Islamic studies specialists, in particular scholars of Arabic medicine, science and history

  • Scholars and cataloguing professionals working with manuscripts written in Arabic script

  • Conservators, calligraphers, museum workers and others interested in ancient manuscripts as objects


Results?

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Cover to cover high quality full colour digital images of 500 manuscripts
Cover-to-cover, high quality full colour digital images of 500 manuscripts

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A unique cataloguing tool
A unique cataloguing tool

  • Simple and flexible, open source, uses TEI P5based XML schema

  • Enables linking between descriptive fields and the corresponding text on the manuscript

  • Able to reflect the richness of manuscript description

  • Can be adapted to other languages and standards


Rich descriptive metadata for over 400 manuscripts
Rich descriptive metadata for over 400 manuscripts

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Website with a wealth of search features
Website with a wealth of search features

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Browsing and faceted filtering
Browsing and Faceted Filtering

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Associating metadata with the pages
Associating metadata with the pages

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Comparing manuscripts side by side
Comparing manuscripts side by side

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Ongoing work
Ongoing work

  • Metadata creation for the remaining manuscripts

  • Posting remaining content on the website

  • Records conversion to MARC21

  • Publishing the cataloguing tool as open-source software for authoring structured XML files

  • Advocacy of the metadata schema and cataloguing practices

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Feedback so far
Feedback so far

  • “The Arabic manuscripts website looks superb.”

  • “Wow! This is an amazing resource.”

  • “The more I explore WACMP, the more impressed I am.”

  • “The WAMCP Portal looks fabulous! The amount of data put in and retrievable is awe-inspiring!”

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