Digital Documentation Center
at the American University of Beirut

The digital documentation center is a proposed cooperative effort between the American University of Beirut and the department of informatics at Østfold University College. The project's aim is to establish a trial unit at AUB for digital documentation and electronic publishing and to study its viability. The project will run from six months to one year from the summer of 1997. While the center if permanently established would serve all departments at AUB, the trial will cover only a limited scope for illustration purposes.

The DDC project aims to contribute to the ambition of AUB to be the primary educational world-wide web site for LEARN, the Lebanese Education and Research Network. It also aims to evaluate the viability of a documentation unit as a support center for providing services and support for producing web content in a university environment. The evaluation of results will therefore be shared between the participants in the project.

The project would evaluate the intellectual property rights involved in electronic publication of the digitized material.

The following may are examples of departments that could subjects of the trial operation of the DDC:

University Museum
The University Museum, being involved in one of the more important ongoing international archaeological efforts, deserves an international presentation on the Internet

Library Archives
The AUB library has important historical photographic archives pertaining to AUB, Lebanon and the Middle East as a whole. In addition there is a collection of graphic poster material from the war of 1973 - 89. One or more of these archives would serve to illustrate historical and archival impact on the WWW. In addition, the digitizing process would contribute to evaluating systems for archive security through permanent duplication.
Urban Planning
Examples from the research results of the engineering department and its participation in urban renewal in Lebanon would serve to visualize the potential of publication of research and documentation at the university.

The project will start in July of 1997 with the initial establishment phase running until the end of the year. A small series of example documentation projects will be completed also involving the training of staff and recruitment of people to run the center should the university decide to make it a permanent unit

In addition to the first example projects, routines and methods of documentation will be developed. Matters such as intellectual property rights and policies of commercialization will also be investigated.

- Prof. Børre Ludvigsen, 970210/970611 <>

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