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Projects and Initiatives

May 2015

Below is a list of the main projects and initiatives that the University Libraries are currently working on, along with a brief description of each.

  1. Al-Ādāb Magazine Archives: Digitization, Preservation and Access

    The AUB Libraries, in collaboration with “Dar al-Ādāb”, are building al-Ādāb Digital Archives. The project includes the digitization, Arabic Text OCRing (recognizing printed text within a digital image), indexing, adding descriptive metadata, and preservation of the entire run of al-Ādāb magazine (1953-2012). It also includes developing a searchable interface for the magazine’s archives.

    Project Team:
    Elie Kahale (Manager), Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department

  2. Arabic Collections Online (ACO)

    The AUB Libraries have joined the Arabic Collections Online (ACO) Project, a five-year project funded by New York University-Abu Dhabi which aims to digitize and make accessible worldwide a large collection of Arabic books that are out of copyright. Partners in this project include the libraries of New York, Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton universities. The AUB Libraries, which are the first outside the United States to join the project, will contribute several thousand titles from their growing, rich and historical Arabic collections in all subjects and disciplines.

    Project Team:
    Elie Kahale (Co-Manager), Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department
    Lokman I. Meho (Co-Manager), University Librarian
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Mariette Atallah, Head of Collection Development Department
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department
    Kaoukab Chebaro, Head of Archives and Special Collections Department

  3. Arabic Comics Collection

    The goal of this project is to collect, archive, preserve, give access to and promote comics literature from and about the Arab world through collection development, preservation, access, and outreach efforts (exhibits, etc.), in close collaboration with and in support of the newly launched Rada and Mutaz Sawwaf Comics Initiative at AUB.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections Department
    Lokman I. Meho, University Librarian
    Rudaynah Shouja’, Head of Serials & Electronic Resources Department

  4. AUB in Print

    The aim of this project is to collect citations and publish a catalog of publications related to AUB’s history, evolution, impact, role and people. The catalog will include published materials in the form of books and articles, as well as university dissertations and theses and will be published on the occasion of AUB’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 2016.

    Project Team:
    Fatmeh Charafeddine (Manager), Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Joyce Aways, Reference & Instruction Librarian
    Albert Haddad, Reference & Instruction Librarian
    Samar Mikati, Archives Librarian
    Nabila Shehabeddine, Reference & Instruction Librarian

  5. AUB ScholarWorks

    The University Libraries have created an institutional repository named AUB ScholarWorks to retain the intellectual output of the university’s students and faculty and support open access trends in scholarly communication and publishing. The Libraries are collecting, preserving, and persistently making accessible a variety of scholarly digital materials from around the University. Faculty members, staff, and graduate students can deposit their unpublished work - and, in many cases, published - directly into the repository. Departments and administrative units can use the repository to store and make accessible their working papers, technical reports, annual reports, data sets, and other materials.


    Project Team:
    Mona Assi (Manager), Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Lokman Meho, University Librarian
    Dalal Hakim Rahme, Research Data Services Librarian

  6. Automation of RSSC-Lebanese Army Library

    The University Libraries are helping the Strategic Research and Studies Center (RSSC) of the Lebanese Army in automating their library using the KOHA library system (installation, set-up, and implementation).

    Project Team:
    Mona Assi (Manager), Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department

  7. Automation of SMEC Education Library

    The University Libraries are helping the Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC), Faculty of Arts and Sciences in automating their library using the KOHA library system (installation, set-up, and implementation).

    Project Team:
    Mona Assi (Co-Manager), Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Basma Chebani (Co-Manager), Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department

  8. History of Arab and Islamic Medicine and Science

    In support of the newly launched Islamic Studies Program at AUB, and of the Khawarizmi Center, the AUB Libraries are actively collecting material in the areas of Islamic science and the history of science and medicine in the Middle East, including publications, rare books, and manuscripts.

    Project Team:
    Mariette Atallah (Manager), Head of Collection Development Department
    Kaoukab Chebaro, Head of Archives and Special Collections Department
    Lokman I. Meho, University Librarian

  9. Kamal Joumblatt Digital Archive

    The University Libraries are developing the Kamal Joumblatt Digital Archive in order to make primary and secondary resources on Joumblatt freely and conveniently accessible to scholars, students and general readers. The digital archive will include, among others, all the material donated to the University Libraries by MP Walid Joumblatt.

    Project Team:
    Fatmeh Charafeddine (Manager), Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Mariette Atallah, Head of Collection Development Department
    Sahar Ghandour, Business Information Specialist
    Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department
    Nabila Shehabeddine, Reference & Instruction Librarian

  10. Lebanese Corner

    Lebanese Corner is a project that attempts to include publications written about Lebanon and/or by Lebanese authors in the fields of medicine and allied health sciences; stressing the grey literature that is really difficult to locate from the traditional resources. This is a useful resource for researchers interested in health/medical issues in the Lebanese population.

    Project Team:
    Aida Farha(Manager), Head, Saab Medical Library Services Department
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Layal Hneiny, Assistant to the Medical Librarian

  11. Lebanon News and Reports Index

    Lebanon News and Reports Index is a bibliographic database of articles and reports covering current conditions in Lebanon and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East. Indexed materials are drawn from local journals and newspapers, and from websites of public sector and international organizations. Indexing is mostly concerned with major political events, important social and economic issues, statistical data, and primary sources. The index provides access to citations of materials in English, French and Arabic. Subject Indexing is done in English. Title, name and place are searchable in Arabic as well. The database was launched in 2006 and work on it is on-going.

    Project Team:
    Fatmeh Charafeddine (Manager), Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Joyce Aways, Reference and Instruction Librarian
    Claude Matar, Assistant to the Librarian

  12. Lotus

    Led by a number of faculty members at AUB, the Lotus Project aims to document and examine the legacy, impact and present day relevance of the work of the anti-colonial writers of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association and their journal Lotus, which was published in Arabic, English and French from Cairo and Beirut between 1960s and the late 1980s. In support of this initiative at AUB, the AUB Libraries are seeking to collect a full run of the magazine, in all the languages in which it was published, and are trying to identify and archive any primary source and complementary documents that could give further context and depth to the Lotus archive. This includes reaching out to key writers, thinkers and editors who were at some point involved with Lotus or with the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association, in an effort to collect papers, archives, writings, documents, photos, and art associated with the cultural production and cultural activities of this anti-colonial movement. This project will also seek to digitize selective items from the Lotus archive, in support of scholarly research and dissemination of this most important cultural movement.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections Department
    Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department
    Samar Mikati, Archives Librarian

  13. Manuscripts Collection

    A project to promote, re-house in new enclosures, and digitize the University Libraries manuscripts’ collection. This involves identifying digitization partners, as well as grants sources; conducting outreach and instruction efforts, such as organizing a codicology workshop with the Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) at AUB in March 2015, identifying possible scholarly activities to promote, learn about and improve access to the AUB Libraries’ manuscript collection.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Co-Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections
    Samar Mikati (Co-Manager), Archives Librarian
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department
    Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department

  14. Modern Heritage Observatory MOHO Partnership

    The Archives and Special Collections Department at the University Libraries is part of a network of local, regional, and international institutions, interested in the preservation of Culture and Heritage in the region. The MOHO network engages in a series of activities targeting a wide variety of individuals and institutions interested in the preservation of heritage, be it conservation of paper-based material (architectural, audio-visual, photographic), outreach or education efforts, networking, etc. The University Libraries are part of the executive team, and are taking a leading role in arranging training opportunities for all interested parties.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections Department
    Samar Mikati, Archives Librarian

  15. Online Access to Consolidated Information on Serials (OACIS)

    Re-launching the Yale-initiated OACIS project, a union list of serials from and about the Middle East listing titles and pointing to holding institutions, this project hopes to facilitate scholarly access to these periodicals throughout the world. OACIS was hosted at Yale University until early 2014, when ownership of the project was transferred to the AUB Libraries who are currently working on redesigning a new system for the Serials Union List, developing new submission guidelines for participating institutions, and creating a state of the art website and a user-friendly search engine.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Fatmeh Charafeddine, Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department
    Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department

  16. Online Exhibits

    This project seeks to curate and post permanent online exhibits highlighting key components of the AUB Libraries’ special and archival collections, in an effort at outreach and education. The permanent online exhibits are hosted on the Library’s website, and are curated through a customized, open source software that allows us to showcase and highlight some of our holdings and collections. Our first online exhibit, Dar al Fata al Arabi Publishing House and Mohieddine el Labbad has been launched and can be enjoyed online at: http://www.aub.edu.lb/ulibraries/asc/online-exhibits/exhibits/. More exhibits (at least two or three) from our collections will be posted for the users’ enjoyment every year.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Manager), Head of Archives and Special Collections
    Samar Mikati, Archives Librarian
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department

  17. Palestinian Oral History Archive

    The Palestinian Oral History Archive is an archival collection that contains more than 1,000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon. The project will digitize, index, catalog, preserve, and provide access to the material through the creation of a state-of the art digital platform. It aims to expand and include additional oral history collections documenting varied aspects of the Palestinian experience in Lebanon and the region. The project is being completed by the AUB Libraries in partnership with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB, the Nakba Archive and the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (AL-JANA).

    Specifically, the project works under three rubrics (1) Catalog and index the material: catalog the collection, and create a specialized bilingual thesaurus tailored for indexing the collection; (2) Build the digital infrastructure: adapt software to enable segmenting of interviews into thematic parts and indexing the segments; also develop tools for the display, effective retrieval, and long-term preservation of the material; (3) Conduct Outreach Activities: engage scholars, educators, artists, and community organizations through outreach activities such as workshops, exhibitions, and conferences.

    Project Team:
    Kaoukab Chebaro (Advisor), Head of Archives & Special Collections Department
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Fatmeh Charafeddine, Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Basma Chebani, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department
    Elie Kahale, Head of Digital Initiatives and Imaging Department

  18. Peer Reviewed Journals in the Arab World

    This project will create a comprehensive list of peer reviewed journals, which are published in the Arab world. The list will be a unique and valuable resource for researchers and librarians, given the very scarce information available about publications in the Arab world. The list will include currently active journals, journals published in print and/or online, restricted and open access journals. It will provide bibliographic, contact and access information about the journals.

    Project Team:
    Fatmeh Charafeddine (Manager), Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Joyce Aways, Reference & Instruction Librarian
    Rudaynah Shouja’, Head of Serials & Electronic Resources Department

  19. Re-cataloging and Transliteration of Arabic books

    To enable non-Arabic speaking researchers to more efficiently search for Arabic books and to ensure better visibility of our Arabic collections at the international level, the University Libraries are adding English transliteration to all of its 100,000 Arabic titles and providing more detailed subject headings to each title in both Arabic and English using the RDA new rules of cataloging.

    Project Team:
    Basma Chebani (Manager), Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services Department
    All staff of the Cataloging Department

  20. Union List of Arabic Periodicals

    The goal of this project is to compile and maintain a list of Arabic periodical titles and identify holdings information across universities and research institutions in Lebanon. The project was launched in December 2011 in partnership with the Bibliothèque Orientale at the Université Saint-Joseph, the Orient Institute of Beirut Library, the Lebanese National Library, the Arab University of Beirut, and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Discovery of Arabic periodicals and access to their content is a challenge that most interested scholars face and this project is trying to alleviate this challenge.

    Project Team:
    Fatmeh Charafeddine (Manager), Head of Research and Instruction Services Department
    Mona Assi, Head of Library Systems and Applications Department
    Nabila Shehabeddine, Reference & Instruction Librarian

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