Arcadia Fund

In 2009 Arcadia, a UK grant-making fund whose mission is to protect endangered culture and nature, made a considerable investment in Yale by providing discretionary financial resources to facilitate and expedite the University Library’s progress with several distinctive and important digitization projects. In January 2010, a team comprising Library area studies curators, technology specialists, and the Associate Librarian for Collections & International Programs met to develop a strategy for deploying the Arcadia funds, during which time they considered a vast number of proposals and recommendations for digitizing and making electronically accessible a range of important and exceptional materials.  Following a comprehensive review of an impressive host of possibilities, the team determined that a portion of Arcadia’s gift will be directed in 2010-2011 to digitizing materials from four unique Library collections.

Selected for their demand by expert scholars in their fields, the digitization of these materials would allow for worldwide access, making significant content usable not only by the cognoscenti, but also by students, researchers, and the interested public.  These collections contain hitherto untapped resources and the Library is now positioned to impact measurably the preservation of and access to truly significant aspects of our world’s History.  

The New England Indian Papers Series

The New England Indian Papers Series is a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials gathered into one robust virtual collection. It offers students, educators, researchers, Native communities, and the general public, visual and intellectual access to significant historical knowledge for the purposes of teaching, scholarly analysis, and research.

Connecticut Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

1887 Insurance map of Naugatuck, Connecticut, showing L&W Ward Curtain and Screw Rings, and the Connecticut Rubber Mfg.

Over 6,500 maps in 470 atlases for Connecticut towns ranging from 1880 to 1970 at 1:600 scale.  These highly detailed maps provide building, outbuilding, and property footprints,  labeled streets, addresses, and information about building materials and construction features for urban and residential areas of Connecticut.

Persian Philological Texts

The book of Omar and Rubáiyát

The South Asia Collection at Yale began in earnest in the 1840s after Prof. Edward Salisbury began teaching Sanskrit and consequently endowed the Edward E. Salisbury Professorship of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. Through the Arcadia grant, the South Asia Collection at Yale University is expanding its digital presence. Twenty Persian philology books, some of which were signed by Salisbury himself, were cataloged, preserved, and digitized.

Maurice Durand Han Nom Handwritten and Woodblock Manuscripts

Page from Tây Du Truyện (AB.81)

Original woodblock or brush ink texts and translations of Han Nom texts into modern Romanized Vietnamese collected by Maurice Durand, a prominent Vietnamese/French scholar of Han Nom from the mid-20th century. Han Nom script uses classical Chinese characters to represent Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary and some native Vietnamese words, while other words are represented using locally created characters based on the Chinese model.

Arabic and Persian Medical Books and Manuscripts

A page image from Kitāb Kanz al-ḥukamāʼ wa-maṭlab al-aṭibbāʼ wa-al-ʻulamāʼ, [1612]

This digitized collection of selected volumes of medical books and manuscripts, dating from 1300 to 1921, is drawn from the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library.  This collection reflects the Arabic and Persian intellectual efforts that translated, augmented, and transmitted Greek and Roman medical knowledge to Western societies during the Renaissance.  It includes iconic works by authors such as Avicenna and al-Razi.

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