NYU receives $500,000 grant to support Arabic Collections Online
June 10, 2018 | 3:40 PM
by Times News Service
NYU has received a grant worth $500,000 from Carnegie Corporation of New York to support Arabic Collections Online

Abu Dhabi: It has been announced that Arabic Collections Online (ACO), a major project to create a publicly available, digital library of public-domain Arabic language content, has received a grant of $500,000 from Carnegie Corporation of New York. This came according to an announcement by New York University Libraries.

ACO is looking to digitise 23,000 volumes from NYU and partner institutions, making them accessible to the public on the ACO website.

To date, nearly 8,200 volumes have been posted to the site, covering over 5,000 subjects, while 2,000 more have been digitised. NYU expects to reach its 23,000-volume goal by the end of 2020.

Arabic Collections Online is a partnership between New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and NYU New York that was started back in 2013 with funding from NYUAD. Other than focused collections of scholarly Arabic literature and theology, very little Arabic-language content is available online to the public, which has limited the study and research of Arabic culture and history. ACO hopes to address this issue by bringing a substantial, open-access Arabic library collection to an internet environment long dominated by Western-language content.

“Arabic Collections Online has become extremely popular in the Middle East, where access to libraries, especially outside of major cities, can be difficult,” said Ginny Danielson, head of the NYUAD library.

NYU is coordinating the digitisation of Arabic language books from six leading academic libraries: NYU, Columbia University, Cornell University, Princeton University, American University of Beirut, and American University in Cairo. The books encompass fiction, poetry, literature, criticism, culture and society, economics, history, law, biography, and Arabic language, and grammar.

Established in 1911 by business magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Corporation of New York focuses on international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and a strong democracy.

“We are so proud that the work of ACO has been recognised with philanthropic support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has been a funder of numerous digitisation projects aimed at improving access to scholarly resources,” remarked Dean of Libraries Carol A. Mandel.

“This generous grant is helping us bring great library collections of Arabic materials to a wide audience, free to anyone, anywhere, with an internet connection.”

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