October 14, 2016
The Oriental Institute's Integrated Database project (IDB) has been awarded a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for $150,000 to fund the fourth consecutive phase of the IDB project. Over the last six years, IMLS funding has allowed the Oriental Institute to establish an institutional repository with the IDB. With this support, the IDB has been able to collect together more than 1,000,000 records from across the Institute, including material from Museum Registration, Research Archives, Museum Conservation, Museum Archives, and CAMEL. This data is being interwoven into an information network to benefit anyone interested in the ancient Near East, the Oriental Institute, and its collections. All results are publicly available on the Search Our Collections website, which provides access to over 500,000 library records, 200,000 object records, 30,000 archival records, 100,000 digital media records, and 6,000 map records.
The current grant period for Phase IV runs for two years from October 1, 2016 until September 30, 2018. Phase IV of the IDB project will focus on archival records related to threatened cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria (such as Khorsabad, Tell es-Sweyhat, Nippur, Hamoukar, Tell Agrab, Tell Asmar, Khafaje, and Ishchali) as well as records form the Epigraphic Survey. Primary goals will be the registration and digitization of 100,000 records from this material in order to preserve and disseminate information about these important collections. A further goal of the project is to assess further independent projects within the OI for inclusion into the institutional repository. All non-sensitive material will be made publicly available through the Search Our Collections website in stages as it becomes available throughout the grant period.
The Oriental Institute would like to thank the Institute for Museum and Library Services for their generous support of the IDB project. Any questions may be directed to the Head of the IDB Project, Foy Scalf.