The Digital Library for International Research

Since 1999 AIYS has been acting as the lead institution, with the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), for what was originally known as the American Overseas Digital Library Project. This project was started with funding from a 4-year matching grant from the U.S. Department of Education under its program for Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA). The initial stage of this project included libraries of CAORC member centers in Europe, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and West Africa, to which the holdings of new and nascent member centers in Inner Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central America are also being added. In addition other collections in countries hosting CAORC member centers have become interested in participating in this project. To reflect this new range of interest and coverage in November 2004 the name of the project was changed to Digital Library for International Research (DLIR). AIYS Executive Director Dr. Maria Ellis was the Project Director and AIYS hosts the DLIR web site, which explains the project and gives access to those DLIR components that can already be visited on-line. Matching funds for the USED grant came from the Getty Grant program for the process of retroconverting the library catalogs of six center libraries in the Middle East, including the AIYS library, as well as from other private sources. The project also had funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Service for selective preservation and digitization of Middle Eastern research journals. Subsequent funding for additional projects that will add to DLIR has again come from the Education Department's TICFIA program. The first four-year matching grant, Local Libraries and Archives Project, went into effect on October 1, 2005 and is adding a variety of bibliographic and digitized materials from partner organizations abroad. As part of the multi-AORC project funding provided by AIYS enabled the Yemen Center for Studies and Research to create a digital catalog of its Arabic language library holdings. Another TICFIA matching grant, effective October 1, 2009, will digitize and post on line selected research materials from partner organizations. CAORC itself is undertaking the long-term maintenance of DLIR, including funding the position of a full-time Project Coordinator, and has successfully applied to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a matching grant to raise funds to endow the ongoing infrastructure of the digital library program. CAORC and the participating centers are still seeking matching funds from various private sources.

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