Last update: 12 September, 2006
These pages provide information and related links regarding major digital libraries initiatives and developments in Europe and all over the globe. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact us at info(at)telmemor.net.
About the i2010 Digital Libraries Initiative | Digital library-related initiatives in Europe... | ...and worldwide
about the i2010 digital libraries initiative
Background & overall goal
• On 28 April 2005 in a letter to the Presidency of Council and to the Commission, six Heads of State and Government advocated the creation of a virtual European library, aiming to make Europe’s cultural and scientific resources accessible for all.
• On 30 September 2005 the European Commission published the i2010: communication on digital libraries, where it announced its strategy to promote and support the creation of a European Digital Library, as a strategic goal within the European Information Society i2010 Initiative, which aims to foster growth and jobs in the information society and media industries.
• As stated by the European Commission, the overall goal of the European Digital Library is to make European information resources easier and more interesting to use in an on-line environment. It will build on Europe’s rich heritage combining multicultural and multilingual environments with technological advances and new business models.
The Communication on Digital Libraries, published in September 2005, was accompanied by an on-line consultation, also launched on 30 September 2005.
The consultation aimed to seek inputs from respondents on two broad areas:
• digitisation and on-line accessibility
Overall, 225 replies were received from libraries, archives, museums, publishers, universities, ICT firms etc., from 21 Member States as well as 8 from non-EU countries.
In a document summarising the results of the consultation, the following areas/aspects were reckoned by many respondents of key importance for the building of a European Digital Library:
Replies will feed into a possible Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation and other relevant Community initiatives such as the review of the copyright framework
High Level Expert Group on digital libraries
On 27 February 2006 the European Commission established a High Level Expert Group with the task of advising and discussing issues related to the building of the European Digital Library. The group includes 20 members from libraries, archives, universities, research bodies, publishers, ICT companies and copyright organisations, who will have a renewable mandate of two years.
On 27 March 2006, the High Level Expert Group met for the first time in Brussels. Copyright, scientific information, public/private partnership and technology issues were identified at the meeting as topics to be tackled as a first priority.
On 24 August 2006 the European Commission adopted a recommendation on digitisation, on-line accessibility and digital preservation of cultural resources. The recommendation calls on EU Member States to set up large-scale digitisation facilities, so as to accelerate the process of getting Europe's cultural heritage online via the European Digital Library. It also calls for action in various other areas, ranging from copyright questions to the systematic preservation of digital content in order to ensure long term access to the material.
Towards the European Digital Library: the EU strategy in practice
The consultation results have helped the Commission to further define the practical set-up of the European Digital Library, which:
• Will build upon the infrastructure of The European Library, a web service set up by members of the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL), originated from a research project funded under the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5).
• By the end of 2006 will encompass full collaboration among the national libraries in the European Union. In the years thereafter, this collaboration is to be expanded to archives and museums.
• By 2008 it will include 2 million books, films, photographs, manuscripts, and other cultural works.
• By 2010 it will provide access to more than 6 million resources from every library, archive and museum in Europe .
EU contribution to the European Digital Library
• The Commission will contribute in areas where there is most European added-value, but will not fund the basic digitisation of resources, as this is considered a task to be carried out by Member States and the individual institutions.
• 60 million EUR will be allocated to projects funded under the eContentplus programme, for achieving interoperability between national digital collections and services and facilitating access and use of cultural material in a multilingual context (2005-2008).
The Programme addresses specific market areas where development has been slow, namely, geographic, educational, cultural, scientific and scholarly content. It also supports EU-wide co-ordination of collections in libraries, museums and archives and the preservation of digital collections so as to ensure availability of cultural, scholarly and scientific assets for future use.
A new call for proposals was launched under the eContentplus programme in August 2006. The work programme and the call for proposals 2006 are now online. The deadline for publication of the definitive versions is July 2006. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 19 October 2006.
• Research programmes under the next Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) will make considerable funding available to co-fund a network of Centres of competence for digitisation and for digital preservation. The centres will be selected through open calls for proposals following an evaluation of the proposals by independent experts. The centres will house the skills and expertise needed to achieve excellence for digitisation and preservation processes. They will integrate and build on existing know-how in technology companies, universities, cultural institutions, and other relevant organisations.
On-going projects addressing digital libraries
A number of projects funded under the 6th Framework Programme are currently working in the field of digital libraries, such as BRICKS: Building Resources for Integrated Cultural Knowledge Services and DELOS: the Network of Excellence of Digital Libraries; other projects, such as MINERVA and CALIMERA (which ended in 2005) have helped the cultural institutions to adopt a new role as key players in putting European cultural heritage at the service of the citizen; TEL-ME-MOR is supporting the national libraries from the ten new EU Member States in becoming part of The European Library, a networked service that provides since 2005 unified access to the digital resources of many national libraries across Europe, while PRESTOSPACE investigates digital preservation of film heritage.
Projects starting in 2006 will focus on improving access to digital resources and their long term preservation. Updated information on past, on-going and future projects is published on the Digicult web site.
digital library-related initiatives in europe...
Access to Archives (A2A)
Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG)
Colloquium of library information employees of the V4 countries
Czech (Bohemian) Assemblies Digital Library
DELOS (Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries)
Digital Library Forum
Digital Library of Malopolska
Digital Library of Slovenia
dLibra (Digital Library Framework)
dLibra Digital Libraries
Dolnoslaska Digital Library
Dutch Historical Newspapers
EBIB Directory of Virtual Libraries
Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS)
Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (EZB)
Hungarian Electronic Library
Hungarian National Audiovisual Archive (NAVA)
Hungarian National Digital Data Archive (NDDA)
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Joint Czech and Slovak Digital Parliamentary Library
KB Digital Li brary
Kramerius Digital Library
Kujawsko Pomorska Digital Library
Manuscriptorium (Memoria Digital Library)
Memory of the Netherlands
MICHAEL (Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe)
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)
Neumann Digital Library
Polish Consortium of Digital Libraries (CDL)
Polish Internet Library
Resource Discovery Network (RDN)
Swiss Poster Collection
The European Library
United Kingdom Web Archiving Consortium
Zentrales Verzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke (ZVDD)
eIFL.net (Electronic Information for Libraries)
Google Book Search
Open Content Alliance (OCA)
Sudan Open Archive
Universal Digital Library (UDL)
World Digital Library (WDL)
The concept for the WDL came from a speech delivered by the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington to the newly established U.S. National Commission for UNESCO on June 6, 2005, at Georgetown University. The full text is available at www.loc.gov/about/welcome/speeches.
Read more: http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2005/05-250.html