Which metadata for Ancient Arabic Manuscripts Cataloguing?

Mohammed Ourabah Soualah, Mohamed Hassoun


Three millions of ancient Arabic manuscripts are jealously preserved in libraries, in conservation institutions and in private homes. A non-consulted document is like a death document. The Arabic manuscript existence is related to its consultation degree by the users. The access to this kind of document is very difficult because of two principle reasons: The first is about the fragile nature of the manuscripts which make them degradable easily, what limits their manual use. The second is about the dispersion of the manuscripts at different far countries in the world, what make traveling difficult. Thus, the digitization and the online of the ancient Arabic manuscripts are a sought solution that will resolve the problem of access to the original manuscripts. But, once again, the question is how to access the digitized images of the manuscripts? Despite of difficulties of the images interpretation, the use of the cataloguing is an imperative solution. Our paper treats the Arabic manuscript cataloguing problems. It reviews the various aspects of the Arabic manuscripts cataloguing metadata. We propose a new cataloguing model and we open parenthesis of an eventual interoperability project between catalogs encoded with different formats.

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