Local Archives and Libraries: A Project of
American Overseas Research Centers (LALORC)



Tasks for LALORC central project staff

Oct 2005-March 2006
  • Request proposale from participating American overseas research centers (completed)
  • Review proposals (completed)
  • Schedule approved projects (completed)
  • Notify recipients (completed)
  • Collect and review survey instruments (completed)
  • First progress report due 3/15/06 (narratives/budget)(completed)
April 2006-Sept 2006
  • Initiate Year One projects
  • TICFIA annual grantees' meeting in April
  • Design and implement LALORC Survey Form and the connecting database (RFQ outstanding)
  • Distribute digitization and filenaming specifications
  • Distribute cataloging guidelines
  • Review data samples
  • Plan web presentation and search interface to the survey data
Oct 2006-March 2007
  • Initiate Year Two projects
  • Receive digital objects
  • Data and budget report for 10/1/05-9/30/06, due December 31 (completed)
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • Narratives and budget report for 10/1/06-2/15/07 due 3/15/07

April 2007-Sept 2007

  • Receive digital objects
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • TICFIA annual grantees meeting in April
Oct 2007- March 2008
  • Report data and budget report for 10/1/06-9/30/07 due 12/31/07
  • Initiate Year Three projects
  • Receive digital objects
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • Progress report for 10/1/07-2/15/08 due 3/15/08
March 2008-Sept 2008
  • Receive digital objects
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • TICFIA annual grantees meeting in April
Oct 2008- March 2009
  • Interim report for February 16 - September 2008 due December 31
  • Initiate Year Three projects
  • Receive digital objects
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • Progress report for 10/1/08-2/15/09 due 3/15/09
March 2009-Sept 2009
  • Receive digital objects
  • Prepare objects for web presentation
  • TICFIA annual grantees meeting in April
  • Final report due 12/29/09


Local Projects at Overseas Research Centers

Note that as centers report on activity, the original brief project descriptions will be replaced by
abstracts of the reports, as has already been done for projects starting in year 1


Year One Projects


American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS)

Contact: Mr. Brian White

ACMS contracted Ms. Borchuluun Yadamsuren, PhD candidate in Library Science at the University of Missouri, as a consultant to establish the initial structure of the local program and to survey local library collections for materials of significant research value or in need of immediate archival preservation. Eleven institutions or collections were surveyed, and their directors or curators indicated their support of developing methods to increase access to collections and address preservation issues.

ACMS purchased library data mining (BookWhere) and library cataloging (Library Master) software to support cataloging efforts. Nearly 900 items on Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies and other fields of academic research related to the Inner Asian region have so far been cataloged and put into a format consistent with international standards for inclusion in the Digital Library for International Research (DLIR).

ACMS scanned approximately 33 historic Mongolian legal texts and documents from the period 1917-1940 for use in the ACMS library and the DLIR database. ACMS purchased this collection in Mongolia for the Library of Congress and the materials were archived on approximately 12 CD-ROMs.

The following archives and libraries have agreed to participate in this project. All are located in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar:

  • Archives of the Institute of Language and Literature, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
  • Archives of the Institute of History, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
  • Damdinsüren Ger Museum, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
  • Scientific library of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences
  • Library of the Antoon Mostaert Center
  • Library of the International Association of Mongolian Studies
  • Mongolian National University: library of the School of Foreign Affairs and library of the Economics Department
  • Ulaanbaatar City Library, including also the American Information Center, the Educational Advising Resources Center, and the Legal Resources Center located in the Ulaanbaatar City Library.

Center for Khmer Studies (CKS)

Contact: Dr. Philippe Peycam


The Center for Khmer Studies (CKS) and the National Library of Cambodia (NLC) have undertaken a joint project to inventory and digitize a number of rare pre-1975 materials in the Khmer language held at the National Library. The project s co-directors, working with the director of CKS, are Dr. Thonevath Pou (Association of Cambodian Librarians, attached to the NLC), and Dr. Pascal Bourdeaux (former CKS Fellow, consultant for a similar project funded by the French Government in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos). The initial phase of the project will be completed in February 2007. This phase consists of a survey covering the existence and condition of pre-Khmer Rouge printed materials held at the NLC and in other public institutions in Phnom Penh.

These institutions, especially the NLC, which holds by far the largest public collection of pre-1975 Cambodian materials, lack an internal inventory. The majority of their books and periodicals are in fairly poor condition due to the low quality of the material they are made of, and the collections are incomplete due the fact that during the Khmer Rouge regime, Khmer-language materials were routinely destroyed. A list of important titles in the NLC has now been compiled and recorded for digitization. Rather than focus on the few materials in good condition it was decided that the general interest would be best served by making an exhaustive record of the NLC holdings, and focus on the corpus of unique materials in poor condition that would otherwise decay further.

Of the periodicals that form the bulk of the NLC collection, one title, the Buddhist Institute s (BI) journal Kambodjasorya, constitutes the foundation of the country's intellectual modernization. This important periodical, which ran from 1926 until 1975 without interruption, published and serialized literary, philosophical, educational and religious pieces that represent perhaps the most important corpus of modern knowledge in Cambodia. A full set of the journal was once held at the BI s library, but during the Khmer Rouge regime the library was destroyed and all its materials lost. Today only a partial collection of Kambodjasorya exists in the country, combining materials in the NLC and what remained of provincial libraries. Our project intends to prepare a special inventory of the tables of content of Kambodjasorya and a work-plan for digitizing the entire set in the future. The task represents an estimated 50,000 pages, including a number of pieces that need to be scanned outside Cambodia as they are not available in the country.

Relatively few monographs of historical quality have been found. Of significance are a number of original, hitherto forgotten novels. So far, 12 complete titles have been identified and will be digitized. There are also educational manuals on Khmer literature and language, grammar, glossaries, lexicons, poetry, civilization, civic instruction and even some traditional music notations. Many of these items will be digitized, through a contract signed with the Cambodian company KhmerDev. In addition to doing the scanning and related tasks, KhmerDev will develop a database enhanced with a multi-criteria search engine in Khmer language [Khmer-Unicode] following the database system developed by the NLC for its Western language materials. Finally, KhmerDev will render, in word-processed or text format, in Khmer Unicode, one of the 12 novels that is so badly preserved that it cannot be scanned.

Mexico North Research Network (MNRN)

Contact: Ms. Greta De Leon

As its project under the TICFIA grant the Mexico-North Research Network (MNRN) chose to implement the digitization of recordings, and the creation of appropriate metadata for some of Mexico's diverse indigenous languages. Initially hoping to do this with archived recordings created by a network of government-sponsored radio stations, MNRN eventually decided to focus its project instead on collections of field recordings.

As a first step MNRN organized, in collaboration with Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indigenas (INALI), the First Binational Conference on Endangered Languages, which was held in Mexico City on 18-21 September 2006. Over 300 researchers, archivists, and native speakers of indigenous languages from both Mexico and the United States participated in this event, allowing MNRN to establish contact with the people currently most actively involved in documenting and preserving Mexico's linguistic diversity.

MNRN's TICFIA-funded project will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan D. Amith, Program Director for MNRN's Initiative on Indigenous Languages, in collaboration with Dr. John Lucy of the University of Chicago's Center for Latin American Studies. Metadata requirements and digitization standards will follow those proposed by DLIR. The project expects to digitize and provide metadata for 8-10,000 pages of material in Nahuatl and other indigenous Mexican languages. One staff member will be specifically charged with acquiring the proper rights agreements for making the digitized material freely available over the web. An effort will be made to provide a representative sample of Mexico's indigenous languages. Criteria for resource selection: - potential relevancy to US scholars working in indigenous language, culture, and politics of Mexico; - difficulty of obtaining the material through standard-available sources; - utility for courses in Mexican indigenous languages.

Tangier American Legation Museum (TALM)

Contact: Mr. Thor Kuniholm

TALM determined to focus on libraries in the Tangier-Tetouan region of northern Morocco, and established a joint project with two scholars from Tetouan, Dr. M'hammad Benaboud, the head of the history department at the Malik es Saaki University in Tetouan, and his assistant, Professor Yousfi. These scholars had already catalogued some 30 private libraries in the Tetouan area, plus a number of university libraries in Tetouan and Tangier. They will process their data, as feasible, to a format that allow the bibliographic information to be loaded into DLIR.

TALM has also contracted with Professor Yousfi to focus on the collection of the Hasna Daoud Library, a private library in Tetouan, Morocco. The Daoud Library is one the most carefully maintained private libraries in Morocco and is the most important collection in the northern area. It contains over 10,000 volumes (including many dissertations) in Arabic, French, Spanish, and English; approximately 700 important manuscripts; 15,000 photographs; and newspapers. Professor Yousfi is using a record structure that maps to USMARC created for this project by Yhtimad Bouziane, the librarian at TALM. As of October 2006 the project has harvested records for 420 of the 820 works in English and has Romanized 2,600 out of 9,780 titles in Arabic. This will form the basis of catalog records for those titles.

Year Two Projects


American Insitute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS)

Contact: Dr. J. Mark Kenoyer

For its contribution to LALORC, AIPS will build on its initial Pakistan Library and Archive Survey Project to include libraries of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, University Departments and private individuals. We will use local assistants under the direction of Dr. Asma Ibrahim, who is an officer of the Department of Archaeology and Museums in Karachi. AIPS has already received verbal approval from the Director General of Archaeology, Dr. Fazal Dad Kakar, for the systematic documentation and cataloging of all Department of Archaeology libraries. The University libraries should not be a problem to access due to affiliations between AIPS and the chairs of each Department. Other libraries will be approached for formal approval as funding is confirmed.

The information collected through this program will include a total list of holdings for each library with subcategories arranged by medium, topic, and language. Catalogues of all holdings will be entered into an appropriated database to conform to DLIR requirements. This digital information will be available through the DLIR website as well as on each institution website.

Center for South Asia Libraries (CSAL)

Contact: Dr. David Magier

The Center for South Asia Libraries, with funding from its own and CAORC's sources, has now completed eight large-scale multi-year surveys of libraries and archives (based upon regional and linguistic segmentation) throughout South Asia, and is about to launch another. In a special collaborative project, the LALORC project and CSAL have hired a library intern to produce a meta-analysis of the data arising from those surveys, and to develop standards for centralizing and harmonizing the collection and presentation of library survey data collected under different cirumstances and projects. This will improve LALORC's ability to generalize its methodology and to serve as a broad model for this important activity in any world area."

Palestine American Research Center (PARC)
the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR)

Contacts: Dr. Philip Mattar (PARC)
Dr. Sy Gitin / Ms. Sarah Sussman (AIAR)

The Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) and the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) are in the process of coordinating surveys of local libraries and archives in Jerusalem. PARC will conduct surveys in East Jerusalem, while AIAR will conduct surveys in West Jerusalem as well as archaeological libraries in East Jerusalem. We hope to start with an index of libraries and archives in all of Palestine and Israel, to provide researchers with a comprehensive view of what is available, and to help us plan to expand our survey coverage beyond Jerusalem if we get additional funding in the future. Though more numerous, locating private libraries and archives in Israel will be easier than in Palestine, because often the existence of private Palestinian collections are kept a secret to avoid confiscation by the authorities. Indeed, a number of important collections have been relocated within Palestine, to neighboring Arab countries, or to Europe. PARC and AIAR will coordinate their efforts in terms of scheduling and staffing.

The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII)

Contact: Dr. Lucine Taminian

TAARII's Resident Director hopes to cooperate with Dr. Faiza Adeeb Al-Bayati, Technical Advisor to the University of Baghdad's libraries and research centers, to survey 10 to 15 science journals in different fields such as engineering, medicine and the hard sciences, published by Iraqi universities and science societies throughout the country. All of the journals that are slated to be surveyed and re-catalogued for this project are complete sets; we have been reassured that missing volumes can be bought from the book market(s) of Baghdad. Copyright law will of course be respected, with the added proviso that the Minister of Higher Education will ask the editors of the science journals selected to make available those publications for digitization so that they can benefit the scholarly community at large. In addition to being incorporated in the LALORC databases, those journals will be posted on the Iraqi Libraries Network website (http://iraklib.ub.uni-bielefeld.de), a joint endeavor with Bielefeld University in Germany.

West Africa Research Association/West Africa Research Center (WARA/WARC)

Contact: Dr. Jennifer Yanco

The West African Research Network, under the direction of Jennifer Yanco, prepared the texts of 22 Ebooks in 6 languages (Bamanankan, Criol, Fula/Peul/Pular, Fulfulde, Jula/Dyula, and Moore). The full text of these eBooks was submitted to the LALORC project in October 2006 and was posted on the DLIR website's EBooks section as part of the African Language Materials Archive, complementing the 34 eBooks in Mandinka, Pulaar, and Wolof that were the original part of ALMA. The metadata necessary to complete the cataloging of the new books is still being processed. As additional E-Books are produced they and the related metada will also be contributed to the LALORC project.

Language materials thus far posted as ALMA eBooks extend coverage across West Africa to include languages of eight countries: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, and Cape Verde.

American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS)

Contact: Ms. Ayesha Abdur-Rahman

AISLS is contributing to the LALORC project by providing digital objects and related metadata for the collections of decorative arts in several of Sri Lanka's National Museums.

Year Three Projects


American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS)

Contact: Dr. Chris Edens


Sana’a hosts many libraries of varied character: research libraries of private or public organizations, collections of unpublished reports and other materials held in different ministries, and government archives. Although the holdings of these libraries do overlap to a degree, they are for the most part complementary. Since most of them have only very rudimentary catalogs, a scholar who is researching a given subject currently must visit libraries in different sections of Sana’a, without knowing what subjects a given library might cover, and possibly being ignorant that a given library exists. The result is frustratingly inefficient use of time, missed opportunities, lower quality of research, and redundant research projects (and so wasted research funds).

The TICFIA project in Sana'a addresses these blockages by beginning to create a digital union catalog of research libraries in Sana'a, a project which is expected to to outlast the term of the present grant. The three-year project will be administered by AIYS, and will be implemented by AIYS in coordination with the Yemen Center for Studies and Research (a Yemeni government library under the sponsorship of the President's office). The resulting catalog will be made available both as a stand-alone searchable CD and in an online version hosted by YCSR. The material will also become publicly available as part of the DLIR databases.

American Research Center in Turkey in Ankara (ARIT-A)

Contact: Dr. Bahadir Yildirim 

The ARIT-Ankara Branch has been in touch with a local library of a foundation called the Vehbi Koc Ankara Research Center (VEKAM), which is about to be the first NGO to publish the catalogue of a private library’s collection in Turkey. VEKAM, which itself has an archive specializing in maps and photographs of Ankara as well as a folk music collection, will undertake its planned survey of private library collections in Turkey in collaboration with ARIT-A as part of the LALORC project. VEKAM is also interested in identifying other partners in this long-term project of which the LALORC project is only the beginning.

Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT)

Contact: Dr. Laurence Michalak

As its LALORC project CEMAT is collaborating with the order of the White Fathers to produce digital bibliographical records and digital objects for the well-known and long-established library of the Institut de Belles Lettres Arabes (IBLA). Founded in the late 1930s by the order of the White Fathers, the library contains some 30,000 monographs plus journals and other materials, including just about everything ever published concerning Tunisia in French.



Last Updated: March 16, 2007