The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Stanford Libraries today announced the release of a public, open platform for the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME), which aims to become one of the world’s largest online archives of Middle Eastern and North African artifacts. The DLME aggregates, through an ongoing program, digital records of published materials, documents, maps, artifacts, audiovisual recordings, and more from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
An international collaborative effort under development for four years, the DLME currently brings together 127,443 digital records of materials held in museums, libraries, and archives worldwide. It also provides an array of applications, tools, and descriptions that enrich the content and facilitate browsing, search, and interpretation. The DLME is intended to serve as a resource for teachers, students, and researchers, as well as for the general public.
A team of five curatorial advisors from the MENA region worked to identify and prioritize records for federation during the design phase of the DLME platform. Currently aggregated materials are described in 10 languages, originating from more than 800 distinct, named locations, and covering millennia. They comprise metadata records and thumbnail images of artifacts and of documents, including manuscripts, published materials, architectural records, and maps; GIS data; and videos and oral histories. DLME’s ongoing development will focus co-equally on adding records and strengthening the network of participating institutions in the MENA region and worldwide .
The technical platform was developed by a team at Stanford Libraries with leadership from CLIR and funding from the Whiting Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The platform is built upon the open source Spotlight and Blacklight software frameworks, and supports presentation of resources compliant with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) using the Mirador viewer.
See Also: Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Receives State Department Grant to Collaborate on Digitizing Kurdish Archives, Project Will Be Implemented by the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) (July 31, 2019)