John Van Oudenaren Appointed Senior Advisor for World Digital Library
John Van Oudenaren has been named senior advisor for the World Digital Library (WDL) initiative at the Library of Congress.
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington introduced the concept of a World Digital Library during a speech delivered in June 2005 at Georgetown University to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. He proposed that public research institutions and libraries work with private organizations to digitize significant primary materials of different cultures from institutions worldwide.
Van Oudenaren will direct a team drawn from various parts of the Library that will seek assistance and advice from within the Library and from collaborating institutions worldwide to develop a plan for a WDL. The plan will identify issues related to digitization and organization of WDL collections, including presentation, maintenance, standards and metadata and the selection of primary materials representing all world cultures. The plan will also identify resources required to digitize and launch an online presentation of the WDL.
Van Oudenaren received an A.B. degree from Princeton University and a Ph. D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Library, he worked at the RAND Corporation, the U.S. Department of State and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.
Van Oudenaren has served as chief of the Library's European Division since 1996. He also heads the Library's Global Gateway digital library project, which was launched in 2000. Global Gateway presents international collections of primary source materials from the Library of Congress and contributing partner libraries from around the world. Current contributors to the site are libraries, archives and museums from Russia, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands and France. The bilingual, multimedia presentations in Global Gateway concentrate on the historical intersections and parallels between the United States and participating nations. The new World Digital Library will broaden the geographic scope of the Library's international digital collaborations by including many more non-Western nations and cultures.
Mary-Jane Deeb Appointed Chief of African and Middle Eastern Division
Mary-Jane Deeb has been named chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division. Deeb joined the Library staff in 1998 as the Arab world specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division. In 2003 she led a team to Baghdad to assist with the reconstruction of the National Library and Archives of Iraq. In 2004 Deeb accompanied the Librarian of Congress to Iran visit the National Library and Archives. That same year she was appointed head of the division's Near East Section.
In cooperation with the Library's Office of Scholarly Programs, Deeb has fostered Islamic studies at the Library of Congress by creating Rockefeller Fellowships in Islamic studies, inviting distinguished senior scholars on Islam, holding a series of symposia on "Globalization and Muslim Societies" and organizing numerous other programs, lectures and conferences on the Muslim world.
Prior to joining the Library staff, Deeb was editor of The Middle East Journal, director of the Omani Program at American University in Washington, D.C., and director of the Algeria Working Group at the Corporate Council on Africa. She also taught at Georgetown University and at George Washington University.
Deeb received a Ph.D. in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology and anthropology from American University in Cairo.