Monday, April 1, 2019

Launched: Digital Central Asian Archaeology (DCAA) Collection

Digital Central Asian Archaeology (DCAA) Collection
The Digital Central Asian Archaeology (DCAA) is a collection in the Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL), a project of Library of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. AWDL’s mission is to identify, collect, curate, and provide access to a broad range of scholarly materials relevant to the study of the ancient world.
The DCAA collection is an outgrowth of the SilkRoDE Digital Library Project, organized by Sebastian Stride, Bernardo Rondelli, and Philipp Reichmuth (now at SIRIS Academic) between 2004 and 2005. One desideratum that emerged from the international scholarly communities in Central Asia at the beginning of the millennium was a digital archive and library of Soviet-era and later archaeological reports, surveys, and scholarship on Central Asia. Much of the archaeological material was unpublished, and even published material was very rare, since print runs often did not rise above 100 copies. Therefore, both preservation and general accessibility of publications were identified as pressing issues. Stride and his collaborators assembled an impressive coalition of institutions, scholars, and international grant agencies for this project, including:
Over the course of 2006 and 2007 the project undertook a large-scale scanning effort, overseen by Nabikhan Utarbekov and Enver Assanoff from the Tashkent company Media Land. For logistical, financial, and other reasons, the envisioned digital archive and library never proceeded beyond the prototype stage. In 2015, the ISAW Library agreed to accept a portion of what had been digitized, curate the collection, clear the rights with the various publishing houses, preserve the digital copies in NYU’s Faculty Digital Archive, create high-quality metadata for the digital copies to maximize discoverability, and make the works accessible to the general scholarly public. (Follow this link and this link for more information about our rights-clearing process and the fair use doctrine at NYU.)
The first batch of items in the DCAA collection were published in September 2018 via Omeka. The next phase of the project will entail increasing the search capacity within the collection and adding more items to the collection.
If you are an author or publisher who would like to partner with the ISAW Library by adding to the DCAA collection, please email

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