[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Using Arabic or right-to-left scripts in AS title field

Blake Carver blake.carver at lyrasis.org
Mon Mar 8 08:33:59 EST 2021

There is a JIRA here about providing better support for right-to-left (RTL) scripts, ideally bi-directional text


And another about Hebrew characters printed left-to-right in staff-side PDFs

From: archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org <archivesspace_users_group-bounces at lyralists.lyrasis.org> on behalf of Bradley Bauer <bdb3 at nyu.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 8, 2021 12:41 AM
To: Archivesspace Users Group <archivesspace_users_group at lyralists.lyrasis.org>
Subject: Re: [Archivesspace_Users_Group] Using Arabic or right-to-left scripts in AS title field

Hello all,

I am interested in this as well, as I have wanted to enter Arabic titles of documents or printed items (such as ephemera or printed material) in their own script, and not just as transliterated text, where possible.

Over the months, I have experienced a couple of things when doing so, either in the title field, or in notes.

On one level, having both the Arabic and Latin script in the same field won't work, left-to-right and right-to-left texts don't share fields very well.  That led me to start using the "notes" field at the file level, so I could put an alternate form of the title below, and see whether it displays.  I tried this initially using English in the title field, and Arabic in the note (although one could do the reverse as well).  The first time I tried that, when I created a preview copy, it gave me just hash-tag symbols instead of Arabic text.  Recently when I tried again, I got Arabic letters, but separated, and only in their initial form, not the medial or final forms of the letters (using the correct form is critical in Arabic text, which has three forms based on the placement of a given letter within a word).  So the display in Arabic would read something like this:  A-R-A-B-I-C_T-E-X-T.

If there are some well-proven work-arounds for that, it would be really helpful to know.

Best regards,

Brad Bauer
NYU Abu Dhabi Library

On Sun, Mar 7, 2021 at 2:23 AM Jasmine Soliman <jasmine.soliman at nyu.edu<mailto:jasmine.soliman at nyu.edu>> wrote:

I'd like to connect with anyone who is currently using, or experimenting with, Arabic or r-t-l script in the title field of AS. We've had mixed results with punctuation/typographical symbols when trying to include both English and Arabic in the title, so I'd like to connect with anyone working on this.

Best regards,
jasmine.soliman at nyu.edu<mailto:jasmine.soliman at nyu.edu>

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Brad Bauer
Librarian for Archives and Special Collections
New York University Abu Dhabi
PO Box 129188
Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi, UAE
e-mail:  bdb3 at nyu.edu<mailto:bdb3 at nyu.edu>
phone:  +971 2 628 7335

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