Thursday, March 28, 2013

Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies

[First posted in AWOL 30 November 2010. Updated 28 March 2013]

The Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies
Modern technology in general, digital in particular, have added new dimensions as well as more sophisticated vocational requirements to the field of Library and Information Science, from which researches and knowledge lovers benefit. Amidst this tremendous quantity of forms of the technological revolution, it was natural for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to adopt the concept of digital publication in order to make it available to researchers interested in science and knowledge. This, in turn, is what propels the Calligraphy Center to provide the study of inscriptions, calligraphy, and writings of the world across the ages from the prehistoric age until now with a new approach and vision. From this premise, the idea of the Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies was generated.

This project comes at the head of the Center of the Studies of Writings and Calligraphy’s objectives, which has taken upon itself the publication of different inscriptions and writings; in particular, inscriptions in different languages and writings from Egypt and abroad, which the center has made available to scientists, researchers, and amateurs in a simplified digital content through the website.

The project of the Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies is considered a digital record for writings carved on buildings and archaeological remains across the ages. These inscriptions are presented to the user in a digital form, including a synopsis of the inscription’s data, photos, and a record of the writing’s it bears .

The project has been adopted in the present time to record a group of languages in numerous scripts, including Ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Greek; developing the inscriptions of each script separately, and recording a new group of other languages’ scripts. The basic data and detailed descriptions of these inscriptions are displayed in two languages: Arabic and English.
Project organizers were keen to build a flexible, user-friendly website for the Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies in order to enable a large number of researchers to benefit from the gems of archaeological written inscriptions and further browse the images and references of each inscription separately. The inscriptions can be easily browsed by language, or the classification of the inscription; architecture, arts, or sculpture as well as the type of the archaeological remain. It is possible to find a specific inscription using the advanced search feature which allows the user to search by the artifact’s number, place of preservation, or place of discovery, and also by the period of time to which the written inscription belongs. At this moment, the researcher will find all the information related to the archaeological remain accompanied with high-quality images, analysis of the written inscription, information and a descriptive synopsis of the remain as well as a translation of the inscription.
The Calligraphy Center aspires to make the Digital Library of Inscriptions one of the most important digital libraries specializing in the field of inscriptions and writings on the internet.
And see also the full list of Digital Projects of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

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