TEI: FIHRIST: Union catalogue for Islamic and other Middle Eastern Manuscripts

  • Host: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
  • Other institutions involved: Cambridge University library. Representatives of both institutions chair the FIHRIST board of directors, with an increasing number of contributing libraries .
  • URL: http://www.fihrist.org.uk/
  • Main language: Multilingual

General description: Originally the JISC funded project – Oxford-Cambridge Islamic Manuscript Catalogue on-line (OCIMCO), aimed at making the historic collections of Islamic manuscripts in the UK searchable on-line and free to access. A further objective of the project was to establish a working practice for a schema tailored to the description of Middle Eastern manuscripts. Following the successful implementation of the latter an interface was created to expand the scope of OCIMCO and invite other institutions to become contributing partners.

FIHRIST is an evolving union catalogue, for Islamic and other Middle Eastern manuscripts. Libraries and independent projects can contact the Board of Directors to receive training and advice before contributing their manuscript descriptions. To keep within time and budget, the founding partners initially focused on minimal descriptions, while stipulating the incorporation of key features, including original script, standardised transliteration, VIAF headings for names and basic Subject headings (LCSH) where given, to enhance access and interoperability with other systems. Records currently added to FIHRIST vary between detailed and basic descriptions, the source of which may be legacy data (existing published or unpublished catalogues) or may be born digital.

Implementation description: The project is using a tailored TEI/P5 schema.

Copyright information: Bodleian Library and Cambridge University Library will retain copyright of the metadata records created at each institution and the partnership agreement will give the Bodleian the right to store and deliver copies of the Cambridge metadata through the searchable interface. Both partners aim to provide the widest possible access to the metadata, free of charge as part of their service provision to the international scholarly community. Both the Bodleian Library and Cambridge University Library are committed to the delivery and support of digital resources in the long-term, and it is in the interests of both to ensure that the outputs from this project are of the highest quality and are fully supported, thus offering the best prospects for their sustainability, reusability, and retention of value in the long-term. Both libraries are committed to ensuring that any digital resources resulting from its own collections must remain viable and accessible in perpetuity, and regard the on-going maintenance of data created as a result of this project as a necessary function of their service provision. Project outputs will be delivered online and free of charge by the Bodleian through its catalogue interface.


Yasmin Faghihi Head of Near and Middle Eastern Department Cambridge University Library, Cambridge CB3 9DR Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 764739 Email: yf227@cam.ac.uk