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Yale University Library News, Events and Exhibits: Project OACIS expands international content and partnerships Project OACIS expands international content and partnerships

Project OACIS (Online Access to Consolidated Information on Serials) has expanded its international content through contributions and partnerships with institutions from the Middle East. The mission of OACIS, an evolving electronic union catalog of serials from or about the Middle East, is to improve access to Middle Eastern serials in libraries in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

U.S. partner libraries, along with our first European partner, contributed the initial titles in the first version of OACIS. Participation in Project OACIS has now expanded to include data in vernacular script from three Middle Eastern institutions. In addition, the current version of OACIS manages both searching and display in either English or Arabic.

The Middle Eastern members of OACIS are the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt; University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan; and Tishreen University in Latakia, Syria. Project OACIS will benefit in many ways from their collaboration. First, librarians from the University of Jordan and Tishreen University added their serial titles in Arabic to OACIS during internships at Yale University Library. These librarians provided valuable assistance during the development of the bilingual displays of bibliographic and holdings information. While at Yale, the librarians from Jordan and Syria also played an important role in translating Library of Congress terminology into Arabic for use in the OACIS system. Next, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina contributed its serial records to the OACIS union catalog. In addition, its technical staff set up a Middle Eastern mirror site based at the exciting new library in Alexandria for the use of OACIS scholars in that region. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina also directed a digitization discovery project which has helped significantly in the planning for future online delivery of journal article content through OACIS.


The development of the OACIS Middle East Database is currently supported by a U. S. Department of Education Title VI grant under the "Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access" program, as well as significant cost share by the Yale University Library. The leadership of the project is shared by AUL Ann Okerson as Principal Investigator, Kimberly Parker as Co-PI and Technical Director, and Simon Samoeil, Near East Curator, as Project Manager and Director of Networking and Relationships, and Elizabeth Beaudin, OACIS Technical Administrator. The participating US libraries include: Cornell, University of Michigan, New York University, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, University of Texas-Austin, University of Washington, and Yale Law School. The principal European partner is the Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt in Halle, Germany.

Guidelines for libraries interested in participating in the OACIS union list can be found at: Information about the OACIS project is available at

Contact: Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian or Simon Samoeil, Near East Curator

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Page Last Updated: 4/24/2014

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