University of Oregon

YMDI

The Yemen Manuscript Digitization Initiative (YMDI) is a collective of research librarians and leading scholars of classical Islam, Middle Eastern history, and Arabic Literature whose mission is to preserve the Arabic manuscripts in the private libraries of Yemen.

YMDI’s partner institutions, Princeton University Library and Free University, Berlin recently received an NEH/DFG Enriching Digital Collections grant. Technicians from the Imam Zayd ibn Ali Cultural Foundation in Yemen will digitize the codices of three private libraries in Yemen. These digital images will be virtually linked to Yemeni manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin and Princeton University Library, uploaded to the Princeton University Digital Library, and made freely available on the World Wide Web.

We view this grant as the first of many projects devoted to preserving the rich heritage preserved in the manuscripts of the private libraries of Yemen.

While there are a great many scholars, librarians, and digital library specialists in the United States, Germany, and Yemen who deserve thanks for the success of this project, on behalf of the Principal Investigators for the YMDI project David Magier (Princeton University Library) and Sabine Schmidtke (Free University, Berlin), the project’s academic advisor Bernard Haykel (Princeton University), the librarians working on the project in Princeton and Berlin, and the YMDI Advisory Board, I would like to extend special thanks to our colleagues in Sana’a, the Director of the Imam Zayd ibn Ali Cultural Foundation, Ahmed Ishaq, the project’s two chief digitization technicians, Abdulrahman al-Neamy and Abdullah al-Wajih and the manuscript preservation team, al-Sayyid al-‘alama Abdulsalam Alwajih, Mohammad Abo Talib, Oday Jahhaf, Ahmed Alkohlani, Abbas Abdulsalam Alwajih, Sharaf Jahhaf, and Ali Alashwal. Under intensely challenging conditions, including severely restricted access to electricity, fuel, and at times even drinking water, the IZBACF team has, astonishingly, digitized and produced detailed metadata for over 44 codices. We are extremely grateful for their heroic efforts.
–David Hollenberg

Advisory Board

Director, Dr. David Hollenberg, University of Oregon, USA
Mr. Abd al-Salam Al-Wajih, IZBACF,  Yemen
Dr. Asma al-Hilali, Research Associate, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Dr. Michael Allan, University of Oregon, USA
Dr. Muhammad Amir-Moezzi, Université Paris-Sorbonne, France
Dr. Sean Anthony, University of Oregon, USA
Dr. Judith Baskin, Associate Dean, University of Oregon, USA
Dr. Cécile Bonmariage, Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique,  Belgium
Dr. Sonja Brentjes, Alcalá de Guadaíra Universidad de Sevilla,  Spain
Dr. Eric Chaumont, Centre de recherche français, France
Dr. Paul Cobb, the University of Pennsylvania, USA
Dr. Frederick Colby, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
Dr. Michael Cook, Princeton University, USA
Dr. Gregory Crane, Tufts University, USA
Dr. Bruce Fudge, Ohio State University, USA
Mr. Adam Gacek, McGill University, Canada
Dr. Beatrice Gruendler, Yale University, USA
Dr. Ahmad Hanaoui, Centre de recherche français, France, France
Dr. Najam Haider, Barnard College, USA
Dr. Bernard Haykel, Princeton University, USA
Mr. Ahmed Ishaq,  Imam Zayd in Ali Cultural Foundation, Yemen
Dr. David King, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Germany
Dr. Joseph Lowry, the University of Pennsylvania, USA
Dr. Wilferd Madelung, Oxford University, UK
Dr. Brinkley Messick, Columbia University, USA
Dr. Ahmed Saleh al Masri Thamar (Dhamar) University, Yemen
Dr. Anne Regourd, Centre de recherche français, France, France
Dr. Everett Rowson, New York University, USA
Dr. Emilie Savage-Smith, Oxford University, UK
Dr. Sabine Schmidtke, Free University, Germany
Dr. Charles Schmitz, The American Institute of Yemeni Studies, USA
Dr. Michel Tuchscherer, CEFAS, Yemen
Dr. Daniel Varisco, Hofstra University, USA
Dr. Mark Wagner, Louisiana State University, USA
Dr. Stephanie Wood, Independent Scholar, USA
Dr. Clifford Wulfman, Princeton University Library, USA
Dr. Aron Zysow, Princeton University, USA

YMDI Partner Institutions
The University of Oregon (YMDI host institution)
YMDI Director, Dr. David Hollenberg
http://pages.uoregon.edu/religion/

Princeton University Library
NEH PI Dr. David Magier
Academic Advisor, Dr. Bernard Haykel
Digital Humanities Coordinator, Dr. Clifford Wulfman
http://diglib.princeton.edu

The Imam Zayd ibn Ali Cultural Foundation
Director, Mr. Ahmed Ishaq
http://www.izbacf.org

Free University, Berlin
DFG PI Dr. Sabine Schmidtke
http://www.geschkult.fu-berlin.de/e/islamwiss

Staatsbibliothek, Berlin
Arabic Manuscript Curator, Dr. Christopher Rauch
www.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de

Centre Français d’Archéologie et de Sciences Sociales de Sanaa (CEFAS)
Director, Dr. Michel Tuchscherer
Supervisor of Manuscript Projects, Dr. Anne Regourd
www.cefas.com.ye/
www.anne.regourd.org/chroniques-du-manuscrit-au-yemen