Arabic Collections Online, sponsored by NYU Abu Dhabi, is a mass digitization project that aims to provide full-text access to thousands of Arabic language titles online, for free. The project is a collaborative effort among six university libraries, who have opened the doors to their collections of public domain Arabic books. Hundreds of titles on a variety of subjects have already been made available via the project website at http://dlib.nyu.edu/aco/.
In partnership with Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, American University of Beirut and American University of Cairo, Arabic Collections Online aims to be one of the largest digital collections of out-of-copyright Arabic texts with an eventual goal of digitizing and making available up to 25,000 titles. This will also be the largest digitization project ever undertaken by NYU’s Digital Library Technology Services department.
NYU Abu Dhabi Library Director, Ginny Danielson, explains the importance of the project in her video for The Conversation series at NYUAD.
Readers can access the website via the URL and then either read the texts online or download them as low or high resolution PDFs. The web interface allows for thumbnail, single or dual page views, along with a zoom feature. Permanent links to each title are also provided to ensure navigation to the original resource. Users can browse texts by author, title, place or subject in both Arabic and English.