Call for Volunteers: Digital Imaging of Christian Near Eastern Collections at CUA

Digital Imaging of Christian Near Eastern Collections at CUA

Join our team of volunteers

A Cultural Heritage Project
The Catholic University of America Libraries houses an important collection of early and rare books on the Christian Near East, along with support collections of manuscripts, antiquities, photographic and archival resources. The use of digital technology to increase access to these Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, and Ethiopic holdings is a desideratum. It will benefit scholars who are hampered by lack of access to materials in this specialized field of studies; it will benefit members of the Christian communities in the Middle East, Africa, India, and in the worldwide Diaspora for whom the materials are part of their cultural patrimony.
In 2001-2004 The CUA Libraries, in cooperation with Beth Mardutho/The Syriac Institute and Brigham Young University’s Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (ISPART), engaged in several projects to digitize Syriac materials at CUA. These were parts of larger ventures to establish a Web-based library for Syriac studies: Beth Mardutho’s eBeth Arké; The Syriac Digital Library and a Web-based Eastern Christian reference collection: Brigham Young University and The Catholic University of America’s Syriac Studies Reference Library. More recently CUA and Dr. George Anton Kiraz, President and Co-Founder of Gorgias Press, Director of Beth Mardutho have collaborated on a facsimile reprint edition of the important Arabic journal al-Machriq (Beyrouth, Imprimerie Catholique 1-64, 1898 –1970).

A New Digitization Project: May 10 –July 10, 2012

On May 10, 2012 CUA Libraries begins a new digitization project for Beth Mardutho’s eBeth Arké II. This two month project will focus on the CUA Syriac collections; it also may include other materials in the Semitics/ICOR Library.

  • Project Dates: May 10, 2012-July 10, 2012
  • Project Office: 035 Mullen Library, Semitics/ICOR Library; Project Workroom: 030 Mullen Library.
  • Local Coordinators: Monica J. Blanchard, Curator, Semitics/ICOR Collections; Manuel Ostos, GLP, Semitics/ICOR Library.
  • Training by Beth Mardutho: May 10, 2012

Our expectation is to run two equipment stations 40 hours per week (80 work hours per week). The Project Workroom (030 Mullen Library) will be open Monday-Thursday (9am-7pm); Friday (9-5 pm); Saturday hours are a possibility as well.

A Call for Volunteer Digital Project Technicians

  • Volunteer Digital Project Technicians will receive basic training from Beth Mardutho in the use of capture software, care and maintenance of the imaging station equipment, how to position and handle materials, image proofing, metadata and file management.
  • The Semitics/ICOR Curator will provide relevant subject area instruction, guidance in handling fragile and rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts, as well as quality assurance and work flow management training.
  • Volunteer Digital Project Technicians may come with a variety of skills and interests or simply a desire to learn.
  • Students, faculty, staff, alumni and others are invited to volunteer.
  • Volunteers who contribute a total of 30 hours or more of work time during this 2 month period will receive a certificate of service.

Library practicum opportunities for CUA SLIS students will be considered.

Monica J. Blanchard, Ph.D.
Curator, Semitics/ICOR Collections
035 Mullen Library; tel. 202-319-5084

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