FIU's Latin American and Caribbean Center, with assistance from a number of U.S. and international institutional partners, recently submitted a grant proposal to establish a Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). The proposed library is a cooperative digital library which brings together resources from a number of partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean region, providing access to cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries and private collections. Proposed collections include newspapers, government archives, official documents, ecosystems documentation and numeric data, scientific scholarship, historic and contemporary maps, oral and popular histories, travel accounts, literature and poetry, music, etc. The project provides searching capability for material in the major Caribbean languages (English, French and Spanish), and actively seeks to deliver the collections to scholars, classrooms and the public.
The proposed project seeks funding from TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access Program), which is a U.S. Department of Education program. Funding will help develop a training program, provide hardware and software to international partners for digitization and provide technical support and further development of the project. Collaboration on this project provides an umbrella framework for digitization projects otherwise confined to single institutions.
International partners affiliated with the project thus far include CARICOM, National Archives of Haiti, National Library of Jamaica, Universidad del Oriente (Venezuela), and FUNGLODE (Dominican Republic). U.S. partners include FIU, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of the Virgin Islands. Catherine Marsicek, the LACIC Librarian, and Judith Rogers, Campus Librarian at University of the Virgin Islands, as Project co-Directors, put together this proposal with assistance from Erich Kesse, Project Technical Director, from the Digital Collections Center at University of Florida.
If granted, the funding for this innovative digital library will serve a critical role in preserving and increasing access to valuable resources. It will also put FIU and the Latin American and Caribbean Center at the forefront of developing research capabilities that utilize the resources in the Caribbean.