OACIS: Overview of a
Collaborative Project
Online Access to Consolidated Information on
For SCOPA, December 11, 2003
Review of goals:
• To create a freely available publicly accessible
web site featuring a continuously updated union
list of Middle Eastern serials
– In all formats (including live web links)
– From 20+ countries (ME as defined by LC)
• To lay foundations for the future, delivering
widest possible information access
– Expanded cooperation and participation
– Document delivery/ILL
– Digitization and preservation
OACIS founding libraries:
Cornell University
Ohio State University
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas
University of Washington
Yale University
Universitaets- und Landesbibliothek
Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle, Germany
• Libraries in Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Tunis,
Why now?
• ME has always been a key part of the world
– Historically, economically, politically
– Never more than today
• Scholars and librarians have cooperated on modest
– CRL’s Middle East Microform Project (MEMP)
– Khoury/Bates Directory, U Washington, 1991
– (But not across national boundaries or via technology
• Need for a significant set of digital building blocks
that don’t exist yet
OACIS beginnings:
• US Department of Education Title VI program
activates TICFIA portion in 1999 (stands for
Technological Innovation & Cooperation for
Foreign Information Access)
• All are three-year projects
• 1999-2002 projects funded: Africa, Eurasia,
Japan, Latin America, South Asia
• 2002-2005 projects: Indonesia, Japan, Latin
America, ME, Asia, language teaching, Africa,
South Asia, Tibet
Collaborations through:
• Year 1: database creation, loading of serial records
– Database expansion in US, Europe, Middle East
• Year 2: explore ILL/document delivery partnerships
• Year 3: create mirror sites, modest digitizing,
identify future phases (such as preservation)
• Year 2-3: internships from ME to work on OACIS
– Will enable participation from home library & beyond
• Synergies with other Title VI participants
• Presentations at conferences, workshops (ME, DL)
• Assessment by users, measuring success
• OACIS is mostly “On Target, On Time”
• (Some travel and internship setbacks because of
volatile political situation)
• Recent accomplishments:
– First full partners meeting (July in New Haven)
– Discovered complementarities of Halle project and are
beginning links to it
– Offer of digitization by Texas
– Prototype launched globally November 10th, 2003
with thousands of bibliographical records
– Interns for 2004 selected (Jordan, Syria)
Home Page - http://www.library.yale.edu/oacis/
Potential Middle Eastern Participants:
University of Jordan, Jordan
American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon
Balamand University, Lebanon
Tishreen University, Syria
Assad National Library in Syria
The American University in Cairo
Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunisia
Breaking MARC
Data Display Issues
On the Inside
Encoding 101
System Specifications
The Open Source system consists of the following
- Server operating system: Linux 2.4.18 via Red Hat 8.0
- Web server: Apache 2.0.4
- Database: MySQL 3.23
-Application languages: PHP 4.3.0, JavaScript 2.0,
This system currently runs as a test environment on a
purchased DELL Precision 350 with Intel Pentium 4 (2.26
What’s Next?
•Middle Eastern Interns
-Interns selected
-First intern will concentrate on issues of inputting nonMARC catalog records into OACIS using entry forms.
-Second intern will focus on questions of document
•Adding new participant data
-Beginning in February we will start adding content
from non-partner institutions at a slow and steady pace
so as not to disrupt continuous project work.
What’s Next? (2)
•Exploring linking and other synergies with our Halle
partner’s MENALIB project
•Fleshing out our thinking and plans for document
•Fleshing out our thinking and plans for digitizing
•Seeking sustainability

OACIS Partner Meeting - Yale University Library