News from the Field

UCLA Library to host digital archive of ancient Arabic and Syriac manuscripts

The UCLA Library and Early Manuscripts Electronic Library have partnered with St. Catherine’s Monastery to digitize and publish online on an open access basis some 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site located in a region of the Sinai Peninsula sacred to Christianity, Islam and Judaism, St. Catherine’s Monastery houses a collection of ancient and medieval manuscripts second only to that of the Vatican Library. Some 400,000 images will be created, including of works from Syriac literate culture, which flourished between the third and eighth centuries, and Christian Arabic literature, which appeared in the eighth century as Christian communities adapted to the spread of Islam.

The fathers of St. Catherine’s Monastery have been careful stewards of the oldest continually operating library in the world for centuries. Courtesy UCLA Library.

The fathers of St. Catherine’s Monastery have been careful stewards of the oldest continually operating library in the world for centuries. Courtesy UCLA Library.

Built in the sixth century, St. Catherine’s Monastery holds the oldest continually operating library in the world. Its manuscripts cover subjects ranging from history and philosophy to medicine and spirituality. However, access to this remote region has always been difficult, and the Sinai’s unsettled political climate has made this project even more essential. This extensive collection of manuscripts becoming accessible to scholars around the world is thanks to the support of a $980,000 grant from the Arcadia Fund.

ACRL OpenCon scholarship recipients

The ACRL Research and the Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) recently announced the selection of Debbie Feisst and Willa Liburd Tavernier as sponsored scholarship recipients to attend OpenCon 2018 to be held November 2-4, 2018, in Toronto, Canada. Feisst is public services librarian at the University of Alberta Libraries in Edmonton, Canada, and Tavernier is the open scholarship resident librarian at Indiana University-Bloomington.

“We are delighted to award Debbie and Willa these scholarships as their work aligns with the mission and purpose of OpenCon,” remarked ReSEC Chair Yasmeen Shorish, data services coordinator/associate professor at James Madison University in Virginia. “The selection subcommittee (composed of previous OpenCon ACRL scholarship recipients Michelle Reed, Cynthia Orozco, and Tatiana Bryant) was excited by Debbie’s work developing an OER to teach Indigenous perspectives to elementary social studies teachers in Alberta. Likewise, they are inspired by Willa’s work developing assessment tools to evaluate the inclusiveness of repositories and publishing programs in order to increase representation and engage underrepresented groups in academic publishing at IU and beyond. We are so very fortunate that they will be joining ReSEC as committee members in July 2019.”

OpenCon 2018 is a platform for the next generation of scholars and researchers to learn about open access, open education, and open data; develop critical skills; and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing information. In addition to attending OpenCon, Feisst and Tavernier will be appointed for two-year terms on ReSEC to contribute to ACRL’s scholarly communication initiative by building on what they learn through OpenCon.

Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources applications

The Council on Library Resources (CLIR) is currently accepting applications for the 2019–20 Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources. The deadline for submission of application materials is December 4, 2018.

The program will offer about 15 competitively awarded fellowships in 2019. Each provides a stipend of $2,000 per month for 9 to 12 months. Each fellow will receive an additional $1,000 upon participating in a symposium on research in original sources and submitting an acceptable report to CLIR on the research experience. Fellowship stipends will support research beginning between June 1 and September 1, 2019, and ending within 12 months of commencing. Fellowships will not be renewed or extended.

For further information on eligibility, requirements, and deadlines, please visit www.clir.org/fellowships/mellon/applicant-resources/.

ProQuest News discoverable in Ex Libris Primo

To address the teaching, learning, and research needs of the academic community, ProQuest is making more of its digital news content discoverable via Ex Libris Primo, the discovery service that delivers access across the breadth of libraries’ print, electronic, and digital collections.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Recent Newspapers, and Newsstream collections—covering nearly 3,000 titles from the early 1700s to today—are now discoverable through Primo. Researchers can quickly find the news they need in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian & Observer, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, The Times of India, and thousands more titles.

EBSCO releases OnArchitecture video library

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) recently released OnArchitecture, an online library of original architecture-related videos intended to support architectural and design education. OnArchitecture features video interviews with influential contemporary architects throughout the world. The interviews are supplemented by video portraits of their key projects, both buildings and installations. Original videos in the collection cover design processes and the role of architects and architecture in contemporary society.

OnArchitecture also contains information about the buildings and installations that are showcased, such as technical specifications, project briefs, and corporate profiles. Up-to-date biographies of the architects and designers whose works are featured are also covered. Video content in OnArchitecture is updated on a yearly basis. For more information about EBSCO’s art and architecture resources, visit: www.ebsco.com/academic-libraries/subjects/art-architecture.

Library of Congress launches North Korean Serials Database

Home to one of the most prominent North Korean collections in the Western Hemisphere, the Asian Division at the Library of Congress has rolled out the North Korean Serials Database, an online indexing tool that offers researchers enhanced access to periodicals and articles published as far back as the 1940s. The database contains 34,000 indexed records for articles in 18 journals from North Korea and covers publications from as early as 1948, the year North Korea was established, up to the present day.

Access to the indexes of these historical and cultural materials offers insight into the policy, economic, political, social, historic, military, legal, financial, and governmental issues that affect contemporary foreign policy and strategies related to North Korea. The database is available at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/asian/html/nksip/nksip-home.html.

EBSS communication studies resource moves to LibGuides

The Electronic Resources in Communication Studies Committee of the ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section recently migrated its Library Resources for Communication Studies subject pages to the ACRL LibGuide platform. This site is a springboard that librarians, students, and researchers can use to find information in the area of communication studies. It is not exhaustive; rather, it includes the core or primary resources within each category presented. The guide is available at acrl.libguides.com/ebss/lrcs.v/diglib/asian/html/nksip/nksip-home.html.

Copyright David Free

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