31 January 2005
Project OACIS Expands International Content and Partnerships

Yale University Library announced today that 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 <>


Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian
Phone:  203-432-1764
Fax:     203-432-8527
E-mail: [log in to unmask] or

Simon Samoeil, Near East Curator
Phone:  203-432-1799
Fax:    203-432-7231
E-mail: [log in to unmask]