April 1, 2003
It gives me great pleasure to announce the completion of the in-house retrospective conversion of the holdings of Near East Collection, a project that was started in November of 1999. This was a daunting endeavor due to 1)the difficulty of finding adequate bilingual (Arabic and English) staffing a short term employment, 2)the technical training of this staff in order to produce on-line full-level records, both in Romanized and in vernacular forms.
These holdings included serials, monographs cataloged according to the Old Yale Classification System and the Library of Congress System as well as an important number of volumes which had temporary low-level records and which were shelved according to the accession number provided by the Library of Congress office in Cairo.
A total of 42,100 records have been converted to on-line records. A serious effort has been made to update the records according to AACR2 rules. Retrospectively, Arabic fields were added to all of our pre-1990 records that had already existed in RLIN.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the team. They all worked diligently to bring this project to fruition. I want to thank them for their hard work and conscientious effort. Their dedication made this project seem easy. These are: Abdul Ahad Hannawi, Adiba Wahid, Majda Deeb, Sammer Karout, Abdelwhab Mustafa and Ahmed Mohamed. I should also mention Patrick Salmon, the former Arabic cataloger of the Near East Collection, who was helpful with his work on the serials and occasional advice.
Mr. Simon Samoeil, Curator
Near East Collection
Yale University Library