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19 Nov 2013

ULS Opening Up Ching Dynasty Rare Books to the WorldNew ULS Digital Initiative Website Also Launches

19 Nov 2013
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ULS Digital Initiative website

Digital images of Chinese Rare Book Collection

Digital images of Manuscript Collection

Digital images of Oracle Bones

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) University Library System (ULS) is offering open access to its Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection. 

The collection has more than 800 rare and over 4,000 semi-rare Chinese books and it is one of the major collections of its kind in Hong Kong. Over 530 selected titles in more than 2,100 volumes have been digitized to form the core of the collection to help researchers fully utilize it and promote online resource-sharing. The collection now carries over 320,000 full text images of rare books mostly published in the Ching Dynasty and the number is still growing. 

The Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection now offers open access (OA) to extend our support to learning and global research and to facilitate scholarly communications. 

OA stands for free and immediate online access to scholarly literature with full re-use rights (http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/).  It means that researchers and academics all over the world can now access all the full text images of this collection without financial, legal or technical barriers.   By removing price and access barriers, OA makes research work more accessible and visible in the digital environment. It enables text and data mining to create new avenues for discovery and knowledge. It allows researchers to showcase academic excellence and accelerates the pace of research and innovation. 

ULS is excited by these new possibilities of knowledge dissemination. This year  marks the 10th anniversary of the open access movement to promote open access as a new norm in scholarship and research. ULS launches its Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection as its first OA collection to support the movement in this special year.  

The new ULS Digital Initiative website (http://udi.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/) is launched at the same time not only to bring all digitization projects into a unified web interface but also to build in the technological architecture to support the international standard, Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) (http://www.openarchives.org/pmh/), to enable open access metadata harvesting.

The collection (http://udi.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/projects/chinese-rare-book-digital-collection) has been harvested into several well-known OA repositories such as OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories), Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), OCLC WorldCat OAIster, Open Archives Initiative, and BASE.  Please refer to this page for details:
http://udi.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/projects/chinese-rare-book-digital-collection/open-access

An informative display panel with video shows to mark the launch of this first OA collection and the new web site has been mounted in the Ground Floor of the University Library.  It is open to the public until 4 December. 

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ULS Digital Initiative website

 

Digital images of Chinese Rare Book Collection

 

Digital images of Manuscript Collection

 

Digital images of Oracle Bones