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Area Studies

West African Digitization and Preservation Training Pilot
April-May 2008


Cooperative Africana Microform Project(CAMP)--The Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, Illinois
Columbia University Libraries, New York
University of California at Los Angeles--Libraries
University of Iowa Libraries. Iowa City

Columbia University Libraries Internship Report, April 2008

Mame Ngor Faye, Archives du Sénégal, Dakar, Senegal

Internship Supervisor
Dr. Yuusuf Caruso, African Studies Librarian, Columbia University Libraries
Chair, Cooperative Africana Microform Project (CAMP)

Program Summary
In April 2008, the Area Studies division of the library sponsored a 10-day visit in New York by Mame Ngor Faye, an archivist/microfilm and a-v technician from the Archives du Sénégal, in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa. His training visit was part of a month-long refresher course on best practices in the United States during April and May 2008 coordinated by Dr. Caruso on behalf of Columbia and other CAMP member institutions.

At Columbia, techniques in microfilming and digitization of books and oversize objects (architectural drawings, sheet maps) were demonstrated, followed by hands-on practice in filming, scanning and image processing (OCR and editing). Quality control measurements and standards were emphasized throughout the training. During the course of one week, Mr. Faye produced an e-book, microfilmed a small book and created negative and positive microfilm copies of the book, and scanned and created digital copies of large sheet maps. Metadata production for digital images was demonstrated in detail. He also received an overview presentation on rare book conservation, including basic restoration techniques. Web site production and digital quality control standards were demonstrated again in detail during a 1/2 day visit to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of
The New York Public Library.

Special thanks go to members of the Preservation Division at Columbia Libraries for their contributions as instructors: Janet Gertz, Director; Emily Holmes, Assistant Director; Dave Ortiz, Manager of the Reprography Lab; Baojing Liang, Christopher Antkowiak, & Enrique Ortiz of the Reprography Lab.

One immediate result thus far of the training program is the production in Dakar of a high quality original microfilm of a rare collection of Islamic court records from the colonial era (Fonds du Tribunal Musulman de Saint-Louis, Senegal, 1850-1959). A copy will be made available at Columbia and through interlibrary loan from CAMP after June 2009. Cooperative digitization pilot projects are also being planned for the near future in Dakar and Saint-Louis, Senegal.