Yemeni Manuscripts Digitization Initiative

The Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative (YMDI) is a collective of leading scholars of classical Islam, Middle Eastern history, and Arabic Literature from North America, Europe, and the Middle East whose mission is to preserve the Arabic manuscripts in the private libraries of Yemen.

Led by Director Dr. David Hollenberg (University of Oregon), in 2010, the initiative received a $330,000 NEH/DFG Enriching Digital Collections grant shared between Princeton University Library, and the Freie Universität, Berlin to digitize 236 Arabic manuscripts in the fields of Islamic theology and law.

YMDI's mission is the preservation and dissemination of the Arabic manuscripts in the private libraries of Yemen. Working closely with a Yemeni non-profit organization which has endeavored to save Yemeni manuscripts for the past decade, YMDI digitally preserved three private libraries in the capital city of Sana'a, a total of 236 manuscripts. These digitized sources have been virtually conjoined to twelve manuscripts in the rare book collections of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Princeton University Library, and made freely accessible in Princeton's Online Catalog and in DPUL's Digital Library of Manuscripts of the Islamic World.