Title: Multilingual online access to digitised Arabic manuscripts by using metadata

Authors: Mohammed Ourabah Soualah; Yassine Ait Ali Yahia; Mohamed Hassoun; Abderrezak Guessoum

Addresses: Ecole Supérieure en Informatique, ESI, Oued-Smar, Algiers, Algeria; Département Informatique, Faculté Génie Electrique et Informatique, Université Mouloud Mammeri de Tizi-Ouzou, Tizi-Ouzou 15000, Algeria ' Ecole Supérieure en Informatique, Oued-Smar, Algiers, Algeria ' ELICO - ENSSIB de Lyon, 17-21 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, 69623 Villeurbanne Cedex, France ' Département d'Electronique, Faculté des Sciences de l'Ingénieur, Université Saad Dahlab de Blida, Blida 09000, Algeria

Abstract: Three millions of ancient Arabic manuscripts are scattered throughout the world. The online availability of this human heritage is more urgent than ever. The consultation of these resources poses technical and geographical problems. Digitisation and publication on the web provides some solutions - allowing many to consult these manuscripts and avoid the handling of the originals. But, how to give users access to these resources? The access by the content is a difficult problem. This is currently a challenge and it needs more time. Therefore, using a catalogue, described by a set of metadata, is a compelling solution for these resources access. But, which metadata to use for digitised ancient Arabic manuscripts cataloguing? What kind of online access model to set up? Our paper aims to give qualitative answers to these issues. Indeed, it deals with two fundamental aspects: firstly, we propose an original ancient Arabic manuscript cataloguing model, based on metadata and encoded in XML format. Secondly, we propose an efficient multilingual access model to these digitised resources by using the catalogue.

Keywords: manuscript digitisation; ancient Arabic manuscripts; multilingual online access; metadata; online catalogues; cultural heritage; e-heritage; electronic heritage; manuscript cataloguing; XML.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMSO.2012.051485

International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 2012 Vol.7 No.4, pp.237 - 253

Available online: 19 Jan 2013

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