The languages and cultures of ancient Arabia have long been studied in the University of Oxford, a legacy of the pioneering work undertaken by the late Professor A.F.L. Beeston. The primary aim of the project Ancient Arabia : Languages and Cultures (AALC) was to make accessible through a single central portal a variety of resources for the study of ancient Arabia, thereby creating a global resource for the study of the languages and cultures of ancient Arabia and the Arabs before the emergence of Islam.
The Academic Director of AALC was Michael Macdonald, an expert in the languages and cultures of Ancient Arabia. AALC was initiated and managed by The Khalili Research Centre (KRC) of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in the University of Oxford, and the Director of the KRC, Jeremy Johns, was the Administrative Director of the project. The technical aspects of the project, including the website and online database, were managed by Daniel Burt, and the scanning and cataloguing was the work of Jennifer Lockie.
In October 2011, AALC received an initial grant from the University of Oxford's John Fell Fund. Much of the focus of the initial year (2010–2011) of the AALC project was to digitise and publish the work undertaken by the late Dr Geraldine King, including her previously unpublished doctoral thesis on Early North Arabian Thamudic E [Hismaic], and the large amounts of epigraphic material that she recorded and had prepared for publication before her early death (including the Basalt Desert Rescue Survey and the Dhofar Epigraphic Project).
In addition to the work undertaken by Geraldine King, the project website also contains work undertaken by Michael Macdonald and his collaborators, including the Safaitic Database Online (which was later developed into the OCIANA database), alongside other primary sources for the study of ancient Arabia, such as W.J. Bankes's journal of his visit to Petra in 1818, and links to websites and bibliographies for the study of ancient Arabia, and biographical notes on some of the scholars who have contributed most to this website and its associated projects and to the study of ancient Arabia.
The website for the AALC Project: http://krc.orient.ox.ac.uk/aalc/index.php/en/
Please note: The Ancient Arabia Languages and Cultures (AALC) project was a one year project funded by the University of Oxford's John Fell Fund, and came to an end in 2011. The project website is still live, but is no longer actively updated, and acts as a historical record of the project.