Technology in publishing doesn’t just mean a new format for future content; it also means new purpose for content of the past. Al Manhal digital library is doing just that by digitizing and distributing thousands of Arabic publications, ranging from medicine and law to Islamic finance and the sciences, giving regional content a global readership (http://www.stm-publishing.com/al-manhal-empowering-publishers-to-spread-arab-knowledge-worldwide/).
As the article’s author, James Douglas, states, “The demand for Arabic intellectual content has never been greater…Al Manhal was created to meet this demand…” To help accomplish this goal, Al Manhal has partnered with EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and Online Computer Library Center, Inc., using their classification and indexing services. Al Manhal has also partnered with Crossref to provide digital object identifiers (DOIs) for each of the documents to improve search functionality and increase their market exposure.
Douglas says “Al Manhal is defined by its drive to innovate…the company see the rich academic heritage of the Middle East and Arab world, stretching back thousands of years, and is inspired to digitize it…” Al Manhal’s databases currently include more than 17 academic collections and comprise eBooks, eJournals, eReports, eDissertations, and eClusters. This content is now available to students and researchers all over the world.
Al Manhal has created a model for digital libraries to bring forth vast amounts of content that, until recently, was only available for regional consumption. By partnering with providers of classification, identification, and indexing services, publishers worldwide can use technology to help their nations and regions highlight their rich cultures and histories.