The Passport to Paradise gallery highlights the bold, visual images found all over Dakar by focusing upon the urban visual culture of the Mourides, a Senegalese Sufi movement centered upon the life and teachings of a local saint named Sheikh Amadou Bamba.

Read our recently published guides to best practices in digitizing text and multimedia resources. Download them today from our "Best Practices" site.

The goal of the AODL is to adopt the emerging best practices of the American digital library community and apply them in an African context. Iniatives for research at the AODL consider various aspects of the digitization process for images, text, audio, and video as they relate to particular challenges posed by working with less spoken languages online.

Listed below is a sampling of the papers and presentations from this project. Some of the papers cross several projects with related research and may include references to those projects as well. For more information on a particular subject or to send questions, please use our Contact the AODL form.

    Digitizing Speech Recordings for Archival Purposes (pdf format)
    In this paper, we describe the best practices for digitizing speech recordings for archival purposes. Many current guidelines do not give adequate rational and are not specific enough about audio digitizing practices for spoken word digital repositories. By analyzing frequency response, dynamic range, format bandwidths, noise, psychoacoustic, and perceptual quality, spectral evaluation of recordings was used to develop digitization best practices.

    Representing Pulaar Digitally (pdf format)
    Many African languages are seriously under-represented both on the World Wide Web and in digital libraries. To help preserve these languages, disseminate information to underserved populations, and aid language learning, we need to find ways to digitize and deliver linguistic content on the World Wide Web. In the course of our research, we have developed tools and methodologies that help to represent and preserve African language content (particularly Pulaar) in a robust, open source, electronic environment.

    Digital Representation of Pulaar (pdf format of PowerPoint show)

    Adapting the Open Archival Information System model to Consumer Initiated Delivery (rtf format)
    In its simplest form, the standard OAIS model calls for a repository system in which digital objects are submitted for storage, checked for validity and joined with management information, tagged, and stored for retrieval by consumers. These consumers interact with the repository in a largely predictable fashion. For AODL and other projects, a Delivery System based on a bi-directional model, allowing consumers to request an ingestion of material, and a structure to temporarily house that material for scheduled delivery, would be needed. It would also need to allow for consumer created delivery models for which we could not, in advance, prepare a delivery system. Instead, we would need to develop a method by which we could allow for this restructuring.

    National Science Foundation grant (pdf format)
    The African Online Digital Library is funded through an award from the NSF. The original text of the grant is posted here.

Sampling from L'Institut Fondemental d'Afrique Noire (IFAN)

Phil Curtin Collection

Collection Boubacar Barry

Collection Charles Becker: Recherches et documents sur le Sida

Photographs from “Passport to Paradise’: Sufi Arts of Senegal and Beyond

Mosques of Bondoukou

Futa Toro, Senegal and Mauritania

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