Sudan Open Archive (SOA) is an open-source database offering free access to contemporary resources on Sudan and including an interactive guide to internet resources on Sudan. Initiated by the Rift Valley Institute, this project is sponsored and supported by various Sudanese and International Institutions (such as UNICEF), and overviewed by an advisory board composed of worldwide scholars.
If the available corpus is for now limited to "technical reports on aid and development from Operation Lifeline Sudan (1989 - 2005)", "contemporary and historical literature on environmental issues", and "a collection of reports on local peace processes", the upcoming implementations including "ethnographic writing, grammars and dictionaries of Sudanese languages, and collections of documents in Arabic" are promising.
From the main page, the user can either launch an "advanced search" or "browse" the Archives. Results of the advanced search (any word, author, title, subject with a date or format limitation) display as list ordered by pertinence. The browsing results display as a list ordered by subject, date, or author according to the user's preference. From those lists, all items are accessibles in two formats:
- electronic document (left-clicking on "display")
The display interface (i.e. viewer) is pleasant and very easy to use: by left-clicking on the thumbnails located in the left-hand side menu, the user can navigate within the document. He's also offered the possibility to highlight terms. The download in PDF format allowes the user to save and/or print the document.
In addition, SOA is a word-searchable, full-text database. It is possible to do searches either in all the archives using the « Search for the archives » box located on the top left of the website's pages, either within a specific item using the « Search the document » box also located on the top left of the viewer's pages.
Using terms and conditions are detailed on the following page: http://www.sudanarchive.net/index.php?view=soaabout.
The website is in English.