2007 Fall - Europe in Bits & Bytes

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Column Editor: Sebastian Hierl

Vol. 31, no. 1

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 2007 > Europe in Bits & Bytes





Contents

Pan-European Resources

LC and UNESCO have embarked on the creation of a digital world library. The digital documents are to cover manuscripts, maps, books, musical scores, sound recordings, films, prints and photographs: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=40277&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html


There is a new gateway to European Film Archives at http://www.filmarchives-online.eu. The site “provides access to moving image collections of currently five European film archives for cultural and commercial purposes. Partner archives and institutions of filmarchives-online include the Deutsche Filminstitut - DIF e.V., the British Film Institute (BFI), the Cineteca di Bologna, the DEFA-Foundation and Národní Filmový Archiv Prague (NFA). By now, more than 4.000 film works—mainly non-fiction material—are searchable in four different languages, and the database is constantly growing. Filmarchives-online was initiated by the MIDAS project (Moving Image Database for Access and Re-use of European Film Collections).


Jim Campbell has alerted us to issue #53 of the online journal Ariadne, which contains a summary of major digitization efforts in Europe at: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue53/digitising-culture-rpt/#5. In addition to Michael, http://www.michael-culture.eu/, and The European Library, http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/portal/index.html, the French portal, http://www.culture.fr/ is featured, as well as the Italian portal, http://www.culturaitalia.it/, the German site, http://www.kulturerbe-digital.de, and Heritage Malta, http://www.heritagemalta.org/. Each site provides links to national or European digitization projects.


“Low business R&D a major threat to the European knowledge-based economy” is the title of the new report by the European Commission on “Key figures 2007 on Science, Technology and Innovation.” The conclusion of the report is that “R&D expenditure as % of GDP in Europe has stagnated since the mid-nineties, while major competitors such as Japan, China or South Korea have been able to increase substantially their R&D effort.” Read the report and the EU Action Plan at http://ec.europa.eu/invest-in-research/monitoring/statistical01_en.htm.


The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) has launched “Europeana” as a prototype for the European Digital Library that is to be developed by The European Library (http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/). The brainchild of Jean-Noël Jeanneney, former director of the BnF, “Europeana” is available at http://www.europeana.eu/. More information about the European Digital Library may be found at http://www.europeandigitallibrary.eu/edlnet/ where, among other things, visitors are able to vote on the name of the new digital library.


Among the names proposed for the European Digital Library is not, however, ECHO, which stands for “European Cultural Heritage Online.” The latter would probably be considered too “Anglo-Saxon” and is already taken by the German Open Access initiative at http://echo.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/home. ECHO “aims to create an infrastructure to bring cultural heritage on the Internet, and builds up a network of institutions, research projects and other users which provide content and technology for the common infrastructure, with the aim to […] create a future Web of Culture and Science.”


Though already widely announced, it is also worth noting in this column that the number of European partners in the Google Books project has increased to include Ghent University Library and the University Library of Lausanne—in addition to the National Library of Catalonia, the University Complutense of Madrid, and the Bavarian State Library, already reported upon. Of course Oxford University has been a participant since the onset of the project. See: http://books.google.com/googlebooks/partners.html.


Via Sarah Wenzel we are informed of AlphaGalileo at http://www.alphagalileo.org/. According to the description on its site, AlphaGalileo is:
  • The world's leading independent resource for European research news
  • A fast and effective way to reach approved journalists around the world
  • A resource for multilingual news, images and experts for the media
  • A specialist multilingual team that reviews all content and user access


Those interested in the history of European universities will find the compilation of free online resources provided by wikisource very useful: http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Universit%C3%A4tsgeschichte. The site provides links to historical documents on European universities that have been digitized through projects such as Google Books Search or that have been included in online repositories or digital libraries at the universities themselves.


French Resources

The “Centre pour la communication scientifique directe” (CCSd; http://www.ccsd.cnrs.fr/), a unit of CNRS dedicated to the development of Open Access solutions, has released its OA platform HAL at http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr. Documents uploaded to HAL may be pre- or post-prints, published scholarly articles, or scholarly documents that were never intended for formal publication, but that are made available to the scholarly community. The depository is open to all academic fields, provides a citable and permanent DOI, and ensures the long term preservation of the deposited documents.


As one of the first signatories of the Berlin Declaration, the “University of Lyon 2” and the “Presses Universitaires de Lyon” have placed online a growing number of their publications online at http://presses.univ-lyon2.fr/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=2. The repository includes monographs, archival resources, and digital theses—a large number of which are searchable in full text.


The BnF has consolidated its offering of online catalogs and merged its Special Collections catalog, BN-Opaline, with its main catalog, BN-Opale Plus: http://catalogue.bnf.fr. Concurrently, the “Catalogue collectif de France” (CCFr) has been upgraded to include improved search and sorting features, as well as federated searching for “BN-Opale plus,” “Sudoc,” and the “Base patrimoine” at http://ccfr.bnf.fr. The CCFr will further be developed to provide access to PALME (“Répertoire des manuscrits littéraires français du XXème siècle”) and the Catalogue général des manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques françaises (117 paper volumes).


The “Bibliothèque des sciences de l'Antiquité” (SCD Lille 3) has released the first part of its GIS project “Atlas bibliographique de l'antiquité classique” (ABAC) at http://bsa.biblio.univ-lille3.fr/abac/abacaccueil.html. The ABAC project consists of interactive maps of provinces of the Greco-Roman world that provide access to thematic bibliographies and descriptive entries of archaeological sites represented in the Lille 3 University library collections.


The “Institut d’Histoire et de Recherche des Textes” (IRHT) at the CNRS has developed the “Base Unique de Documentation Encyclopédique” (BUDE) at http://web_bude.irht.cnrs.fr. BUDE is devoted to the study of Humanism and the transmission of texts. The database gathers information concerning the transmission of ancient and medieval texts in the form of manuscripts and early modern printed books from the end of the Middle Ages through the first half of the 17th Century.


Also developed by the “l’Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes and the École nationale des chartes,” TELMA was launched one year ago as a French Digital Humanities portal at http://www.cn-telma.fr/. The site provides access to a number of critical editions and a corpus of manuscripts in full text.


Via Le Monde and Dominique Coulombe we are alerted to the digital library of “L’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi,” which provides a choice of thousands of online texts in the Social Sciences at: http://classiques.uqac.ca/. From Alfred Adler to Simone Weil, users will find searchable pdf and MS-Word files of authoritative editions in French (foreign thinkers are included only in translation). The site further links to freely accessible publications by contemporary scholars in the Social Sciences, mostly from Québec. Though, not a “Western European” resource, the site is listed here because of its rich French and European content.


Following the announcement on “Fabula” (http://www.fabula.org/actualites/article21048.php) forwarded by Sarah Wenzel to wess-rom, the Mercure françois is now available online in page images at http://mercurefrancois.ehess.fr/.


A French perspective on the ebook phenomenon is provided in the form of a dossier by “Educnet” at http://www.educnet.education.fr/dossier/livrelec/default.htm. The discussion includes the latest arrival on the international ebook scene, Amazon’s Kindle.


The “Bibliothèque du Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers” (CNAM) has launched the “Conservatoire numérique des arts et métiers” (CNUM), a digital library devoted to the History of Science and Technology, at http://cnum.cnam.fr/. Unfortunately, the collection has been captured in online facsimile pages without full text and only the tables of contents and bibliographic descriptions are searchable.


“Interbibly,” the “Agence de cooperation entre les bibliothèques, services d’archives et de documentation Champagne-Ardenne,” has placed online a colorful exhibit of books of hours, principally from the collections of libraries in Chalons, Reims, Sens, and Troyes at http://www.interbibly.fr/trhc/index.html.


“NordNum,” the “Bibliothèque numérique d’histoire régionale (Nord-Pas-de-Calais),” has come online at http://nordnum.univ-lille3.fr/nordnum2.html


The “bibliothèque municipale de Lyon” has placed online electronic finding aids to its vast archival holdings at http://www.bm-lyon.fr/trouver/pleade/presentation.htm.


The site http://www.celebrations.culture.fr/ provides online exhibits on events and national figures that have shaped French culture. Among the exhibits, are sections on the Dreyfus affair (http://www.dreyfus.culture.fr/fr/), Alexis de Tocqueville (http://www.tocqueville.culture.fr/en/), the French Language Dictionaries (http://www.dictionnaires.culture.fr/), and George Sand (http://www.georgesand.culture.fr/). All exhibits are designed as pedagogical sites to be used in the classroom and provide historical introductions, lists of further reading, and extensive links to related resources.


An online exhibit by the BnF on Carolingian treasures is available at http://expositions.bnf.fr/carolingiens/index.htm.


A series of fifteen lectures on the theme "Proust, mémoire de la literature" was delivered by Antoine Compagnon at the “Collège de France” from 5 December 2006 to 20 March 2007. These lectures are freely available as MP3 files on the “Collège de France” website at: http://www.college-de-france.fr/default/EN/all/lit_cont/


“Revues.org” has added a number of new titles since the last issue of this column; among the titles that have become available are:


There are two new sites for French bibliophiles: http://bibliobs.nouvelobs.com/ and http://www.nonfiction.fr. The first is clearly the literary site of the Nouvel Observateur and its editorial board is composed of journalists from various divisions within Le Nouvel Obs. “Nonfiction.fr”—while also the product of the Nouvel Obs—claims a wider ambition as “le portail des livres et des idées” and has an illustrious “comité de parrainage” and that includes a wide array of personalities, among them Elisabeth and Robert Badinter, Pierre Bergé, Paul Berman, Tina Brown, Antoine Compagnon, Olivier Duhamel, Jean-Noël Jeanneney, Christine Ockrent, Angelo Rinaldi, and Tzvetan Todorov.


Italian Resources

“Pleiadi,” the Italian OAI Portal, has been launched at http://www.openarchives.it/pleiadi/. The site provides an unified search user interface to Italian open archives, as well as news and RSS feeds on new OA developments, links to new projects or sites, and a discussion forum.


Spanish Resources

The “Virtual Library of Bibliographical Heritage” has been launched at http://bvpb.mcu.es. The site currently provides page images of close to 1,200 manuscripts, incunables, sheet music, and printed books, from the 10th Century to the beginning of the 20th Century.


Also by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the “Portal de Archivos Españoles” (PARES) aims at increasing access to the wealth of historical documents and resources held at archives throughout the country: http://pares.mcu.es/. The current digitized collections made available through PARES stem from digitization projects at the following archives: “Archivo General de Indias, Archivo General de Simancas, Archivo Histórico Nacional, Sección Nobleza del Archivo Histórico Nacional, Archivo de la Corona de Aragón, Archivo General de la Administración, Archivo General de la Guerra Civil, Archivo de la Real Chancillería de Valladolid y los Archivos Históricos Provinciales de Álava, Guipúzcoa y Vizcaya.”


The “Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas” (CSIC), a signatory of the Berlin Declaration, has made available 12 of its 32 scholarly journals available in Open Access:
  • Al-Qantara
  • SEFARAD
  • Arbor
  • Trabajos de Prehistoria
  • Archivo Español de Arqueología
  • Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid
  • Asclepio
  • Estudios Geológicos
  • Revista de Indias
  • Informes de la Construcción
  • Revista española de Documentación Científica
  • Materiales de Construcción


The titles are available at http://revistas.csic.es/ ––with more to follow.


Portuguese Resources

The Portuguese Institute of Museums (IPM) provides access to over 30,000 images of objects and paintings held in IPM's collections through “MatrizNet” at http://www.matriznet.ipmuseus.pt/ipm/MWBINT/MWBINT02.asp.


German Resources

In addition to being the only German library participating in Google Book Search, the Bavarian State Library in Munich (BSB) has embarked on its own mass digitization project, VD 16 Digital, with the support of the DFG. Using an automatic scanning machine developed by the Treventus company in Vienna, the BSB plans to digitize its holdings of about 37,000 early prints from 1518 to 1600 reported in the VD 16 (the national repertory of printed works published in the German-speaking World during the 16th Century, currently listing approximately 100,000 titles from 240 libraries). More information is at http://www.vd16.de/.


Johann Heinrich Zedler’s Universal-Lexicon, the largest encyclopedia of the 18th Century, was digitized by the BSB at http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~zedler/zedler2007/index.html.


“Volltextsuche online” (VTO), the “Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels’” response to Google Book Search, has a new name and search interface at http://www.libreka.de/. While VTO was unveiled at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2005, “Libreka” made its debut at Frankfurt this year.


Jim Campbell, Digital Access Librarian and Librarian for German at the University of Virginia has alerted us, via German-E, to http://www.zeno.org, which provides free online access to the out-of-copyright content of CD-ROMs published within the “Digitale Bibliothek.” This free online access is not meant to supplant the CD- and DVD-ROMs, still offered for sale by the http://www.digitale-bibliothek.de/, but to provide another business model, based upon advertising and internet traffic. The CD- and DVD-ROMs offered by the “Digitale Bibliothek” can also be downloaded at http://www.zenodot.net.


The Open Access portal, http://www.open-access.net (presented as http://www.openaccess-germany.de/ in the previous issue of this column), provides free online access to most articles published in the latest issue of the ZfBB dedicated to OA: http://open-access.net/de/austausch/links/#c832. The issue includes a contribution by WESS-member Michael Seadle, Director of the Institute for Library and Information Science at the Humboldt University, Berlin.


Though already briefly mentioned in this column in the fall of 2005, this is an excellent opportunity to remind everyone of the online journal, Libreas (http://www.libreas.de/), published by the Institute for Library and Information Science at Humboldt. Libreas covers all issues in LIS and welcomes contributions in English by North American librarians. Since 2005, Libreas has published eleven issues and expanded its offer with a blog and podcasts: http://www.ib.hu-berlin.de/%7Elibreas/libreas_neu/podcasts/podcast_1/index.htm.


If you are looking for a lawyer in Germany, the “Bundesweites Anwaltsverzeichnis” may help at: http://www.rechtsanwaltsregister.org/.


Via Jim Campbell and a post by Klaus Graf on the “Inetbib” list, we are alerted to the list of freely available German language journals (newspapers excluded) provided by the German WikiSource: http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Zeitschriften. The list includes German titles only, for which at least one issue published before 1930 has been digitized. This extensive and growing list wonderfully complements WESS’s Indexes and Guides to Western European Periodicals (which is soon to become available in wiki format itself—and to which everyone is encouraged to contribute): http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~eshierl/wess/IGWEP.html.


The University of Warwick has hired German actor Christian Wewerka to perform Goethe’s early poetry for a podcasting project at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/german/poetry/. The poems featured in the project are provided in mp3 format and accompanied by a transcript of the text.


The digital library initiative at the “Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg” is notably productive. To keep abreast of news from its digitization lab, the site now provides RSS-feeds at http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/helios/digi/digilit.html (see bottom of the page). Among other things, Heidelberg’s digital collections have been expanded to include a number of titles from the University’s extensive collection of 265,000 works at the South Asia Institute.


The “Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Sportwissenschaft” (Vifa Sport) has come online at: http://www.vifasport.de. The subject portal follows the design and purpose of other ViFa sites that have been described in this column in previous issues. As with its peer sites, contents of ViFa Sport are aggregated in http://www.vascoda.de.


The Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) and the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) are generally considered the standard German biographical reference source, similar to the British Dictionary of National Biography. The ADB, published in 55 vols. between1875-1912, and the NDB, currently at 23 vols. since 1953, are being digitized by the Historic Commission of the Bavarian Academcy of Sciences and the Bavarian State Library at http://www.deutsche-biographie.de (see the original announcement of the project in this column of Spring 2002). When complete the project will provide full text access to about 90,000 entries from the NDB and ADB. Having made considerable progress since 2001, the project has now also been linked to the name authority file (PND) of the German National Library. Through this link via persistent URL, users will be able to view all works in the German National Library and other OPACS by or about the personalities covered in the NDB. Conversely, records in the PND will link directly to the biographical entries in the NDB. The NDB continues to be published and updated by the commercial publisher Duncker & Humblot (http://www.duncker-humblot.de/), but the latter has agreed to permit the inclusion of new or updated articles in http://www.deutsche-biographie.de 18 months after publication. Additional information is available at the ADB/NDB site.


As the name indicates, http://www.bibliotheksportal.de provides access to everything library in Germany. The site includes an introduction and provides insight into the profession from a German perspective.


University calendars or “Vorlesungsverzeichnisse” of German universities were previously only available in print at select institutions or at CRL. Several digitization projects now permit to browse and search these in complete or near-complete runs documenting the history of their respective university. As with so many German projects, “Archivalia” provides a wonderfully summary of available digital “Vorlesungsverzeichnisse” at http://archiv.twoday.net/search?q=vorlesungsverz. The site provides links to the university calendars of Munich (LMU), Ingolstadt (starting in 1472), Landshut, Giessen, Dorpat (Estonia), Freiburg (Breisgau), the Mannheim “Wirtschaftshochschule” (business school), and the Technical University Aachen. In addition, the “Vorlesungsverzeichnisse” of the following universities have recently become available to complete this list:
Additional information on the history of Western European universities, including university calendars, is available at http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Universit%C3%A4tsgeschichte.


The “Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung” (DIPF) at http://www.dipf.de/bildungsinformation.htm, has placed online a list of pedagogical databases and resources at http://www.dipf.de/bildungsinformation/datenbanken.htm. The latter includes a reference to the newly developed http://www.fachportal-paedagogik.de/.


Through http://www.textgrid.de we are informed that the Max Planck Digital Library and SUB Goettingen have agreed to cooperate on the development of a digital infrastructure for the arts and humanities, named “eHumanities.” The agreement was signed at the German E-Science Conference 2007 in Baden-Baden by the vice president of the Max Planck Society, Prof. Dr. Kurt Mehlhorn; the vice president of Goettingen University, Prof. Dr. Doris Lemmermöhle; the director of the MPDL, Dr. Laurent Romary; and the director of the SUB, Dr. Norbert Lossau. As Dr. Romary explains, "Philology, philosophy, history, archaeology and a myriad of other fields in the humanities require both a common infrastructure and domain-specific tools, to conduct their scientific activities". The still to be developed infrastructure will provide open access to primary digital resources, publications and supplementary material; permit the location-independent creation and edition of textual data; and the long term preservation of digital information.


The portal “Bibliotheks-, Buch- und Informationswissenschaften” http://www.b2i.de/ has placed online a list of subject specific bibliographies and databases at: http://www.b2i.de/info.mhtml?l#wbb. This includes the “Fachdatenbank Buchwissenschaft,” a bibliographic database which unites three of the most important bibliographic resources on the History of the Book and Library Science: the “Wolfenbütteler Bibliographie zur Geschichte des Buchwesens” (WBB), the “Bibliographie der Buch- und Bibliotheksgeschichte” (BBB), and the online catalog of the “St. Galler Zentrums für das Buch” (SGZFB). Available at http://www.buchwissenschaft.info, the “Fachdatenbank Buchwissenschaft” currently includes bibliographic references to over 400,000 monographs, journals, and essays published between 1840 and today.


Those interested in the local history of northern Germany will want to scour the newly online portals to museums in “Schleswig-Holstein” at http://www.museen-sh.de/ml/ and of the cultural artifacts of the “Land” of “Niedersachsen” at http://www.opal-niedersachsen.de/.


The “Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik” at the Humboldt-University in Berlin has placed online a database of close to 14,000 cultural artifacts and documents at http://www.sammlungen.hu-berlin.de/. The database may be searched on the metadata or browsed by subject; each entry includes extensive descriptions and subject headings.


Those who missed Leipzig (or weren’t able to make it to concurrent discussions) will be relieved to find over 100 of the total 250 presentations at the “Leipziger Bibliothekskongress” (2007) online at http://www.bib-info.de/opus/btag07.html.


The “Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance”—previously accessible only via a subscription to “Dyabola”—has become freely available at http://www.census.de/census.


The “Bibliotheksindex 2007,” providing rankings and comparisons of German academic libraries, is online at http://www.bix-bibliotheksindex.de/.


HGIS Germany is a multimedia historical-geographical information system that traces the development member states of the German Federation from 1820 to 1914 at http://www.hgis-germany.de/. The project was developed by the “Institut für Europäische Geschichte” (IEG) and the “Institut für Raumbezogene Informations- und Messtechnik” (i3mainz), both in Mainz. Additional support was provided by the German historical museum (DHM) in Berlin and the project was funded by the “Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung,” as well as the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. HGIS connects historical information with geographic locations over time, using University of Minnesota map servers and the Mapbender software suite.


The first critical edition of the letters of Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886), one of the founders of history as a modern academic discipline, have been published online at http://www.historischekommission-muenchen.de/seiten/ranke/rankestart.html. Spanning six volumes, the letters provide insight into the life and work of Leopold von Ranke and include careful annotations commenting on historical facts, key figures, and the numerous references to published works that appear throughout the correspondence. The project was supported by the DFG and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.


The University of Göttingen has placed online an annotated bibliography on Literary Theory at http://www.literaturtheorie.uni-goettingen.de/Literaturtheorie/pages/Main.jsf. The database comprises recent publications on all approaches and methods in literary theory, supplying both bibliographical data and short annotations. The aim is to provide an overview of the research conducted in this field.


http://www.filmportal.de is a project of the “Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt/Main” and the central portal to German Film Resources. “Filmportal.de” provides access to a database of currently 60,000 German feature films ranging from 1895 till today. Entries include detailed credits and several thousand films are covered in-depth, featuring synopses, reviews, photos and posters. Moreover, “filmportal.de” lists thousands of biographical entries and the theme section provides introductory texts on important periods and aspects of German film history. The site is completed with a multimedia section that provides trailers and clips from current releases, as well as from classical films of German cinema, in addition to streaming video of the magazine Kino, produced by Deutsche Welle-TV.


The “Hessisches Landesamt für geschichtliche Landeskunde” has launched the “Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen” at http://web.uni-marburg.de/hlgl/lagis/hela.html. The site provides access to a host of resources covering the local history of the state of Hessen, including digital atlases and maps and an online gazetteer of Hessen, as well as countless bibliographic references organized by subject in separate databases. In addition, the site is developing its collection of primary historical resources and currently offers access to a searchable database of the digitized “Landgrafen-Regesten.” The latter cover the entire medieval period, detailing the application of local law in Hessen from 1247 to 1509. Additional information is available at http://online-media.uni-marburg.de/ma_geschichte/lgr/projekt_beschreib.html.


The project “Digitalisierung der Amtspresse Preußens” provides full text access to two the most influential titles of the political press published in Prussia during the late 19th Century, the Provinzial Correspondenz (1863-1884) and its quasi-successor, the Neueste Mittheilungen (NM) (1882-1894) at http://amtspresse.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/. The project is developed by the “Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin” with support of the “Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz.”


The photographic archive of the “Bundesarchiv” is now online at http://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/. The archive currently includes over 60,000 photographs, including aerial photographs and posters. They represent a sample of the ca. 11 million images held by the “Bundesarchiv,” documenting personalities and events in German history from 1860 to 2000. The archive holds photographs from Germany’s colonial past, the Weimarer Republic, the Nazi period, the GDR—including a large photographic collection from the “Allgemeinen Deutschen Nachrichtendienstes” (AND), the official (and only) news and photographic agency of the GDR—and the “Presse- und Informationsamtes” of the Federal Republic of Germany.


The historical commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the federal archives (“Bundesarchiv”) have digitized the 23-volume set of the “Akten der Reichskanzlei. Weimarer Republik” (1968-1990), thus permitting to search the minutes of the the meetings and official documents of the cabinets from Scheidemann to Schleicher at http://www.bundesarchiv.de/aktenreichskanzlei1919-1933.


The project “freiburg-postkolonial.de” aims at discovering and disclosing Freibug’s colonial past and interests at http://www.freiburg-postkolonial.de/.


Still in start-up phase, the new site http://www.kulturerbe-digital.de collects information about the digitization of cultural resources in Germany: http://www.kulturerbe-digital.de/en/index.php. The site provides updates on ongoing or completed digitization projects, recommendations, working materials, and best practice guidelines, as well as information about grants and other forms of assistance available to move digitization projects forward.


Austrian Resources

Erika Banski, the German/Slavic Studies Librarian & Principal Cataloguer at the University of Alberta Libraries, alerts us to a new online source of strong interest to subject specialists in European Canon Law and Habsburg History, as well as to colleagues interested in MARC21 to MODS conversion and online bibliographic publication using entirely open access software packages: The Salzburg Collection at the University of Alberta Libraries at http://repository.library.ualberta.ca/salzburg/. As Erika indicates, the “About this project” and “About the collection” sections of the site provide detailed information on both. Erika also cautions that any errors that have crept into the MARC records through the conversion process are being corrected, but that feedback on these would be most appreciated.


The "Austriaca" database at http://www.austriaca.at/ provides online access to the full range of publications of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. This includes the full text of encyclopedias, handbooks, monographs published within series, journals, newsletters, and working papers. The database provides access to a vast number of publications, but coverage is inconsistent. The site map provides a complete overview of available publications.


The “Portal der österreichischen Sondersammlungen” has come online at http://www.orbislibrorum.at/. The site provides access to the digital collections in Austrian libraries of manuscripts, incunables, and early prints—in addition to a blog permitting to stay abreast of newly added resources at http://www.orbislibrorum.at/WorldPress.


The Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, in cooperation with the Packard Humanities Institute, is opening access to Mozart's musical compositions online at http://dme.mozarteum.at/DME/nma/start.php?l=. This digitized version offers the musical text and the critical commentaries of the entire Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, edited by the “Internationale Stiftung Mozart” in cooperation with the Mozart cities of Augsburg, Salzburg, and Vienna.


A new online book store has opened its virtual doors at http://www.buchtaucher.at. One would have believed the market to be already saturated, but the publishers of this site clearly perceive a market gap and offer 350,000 german-language titles for immediate delivery and over 1 million foreign language titles. To entice shopping, shipping is free within Austria.


Swiss Resources

The SEALS (Swiss Electronic Academic Library Service) portal, developed by the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, provides access to “retrodigitized” journals at http://retro.seals.ch/digbib/home. The site currently includes two collections in full text: SwissDML and Baugedächtnis Schweiz Online, going as far back as 1874 (and reaching to 2000 and beyond). SwissDML (Swiss Digital Mathematics Library ) contains mathematical journals from Switzerland, while Baugedächtnis Schweiz Online comprises Swiss journals in the fields of architecture, construction and technology.


The NZZ reports that e-codices, the Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, is expanding with the help of the Mellon Foundation to include the famous manuscript collection at St. Gallen (http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/schweiz/geld_aus_amerika_fuer_schweizer_handschriften_1.594248.html?printview=true). E-codices is available at http://www.e-codices.ch/de/index.htm.


DoDiS, the Internet database of Swiss Diplomatic Documents (DDS), contains comprehensive information on documents, personaorganizations, geographical terms, bibliographical references, and photographs on the history of the foreign relations of Switzerland at http://www.dodis.ch/d/datenbank.asp.


The “Zentralbibliothek Solothurn” has digitized its collection of postcards at www.zbsolothurn.ch/. The collection includes over 9,000 postcards from the 19th Century to the present.


Scandinavian Resources

The Historical Towns of the Baltic and Scandinavia is a joint project by the Danish Centre for Urban History at the University of Århus, the Institute of Urban History at the University of Stockholm, and the Department for Multimedia and Data handling at the University of Rostock: http://www.baltictowns.com/portal/e_index.html. The goal of the project is to provide historic information on the development of the larger Baltic Sea area from the 17th Century to the 20th Century (with emphasis on the 17th and 18th Centuries). Information about the towns, such as their political affiliation, population statistics, shipping and other data sets on business and trade, as well as bibliographies and selected images, including historical maps, is organized geographically through an interactive map of the Baltic Sea.


BeNeLux Resources

Since September all medieval manuscripts in the Netherlands are available on the website Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (MMDC), http://www.mmdc.nl. The website provides a portal to a database with short, uniform descriptions and photographs of all 6,000 medieval manuscripts held at libraries in the Netherlands.


The Bibliografie van de Literaire Tijdschriften in Vlaanderen en Nederland (BLTVN) at http://bltvn.kb.nl/ continues the print edition of the bibliography of illustrated literary magazines in Flanders and the Netherlands, edited by Hilda van Assche and published in print from 1972 to 2000. The BLTVN offers an unique historical overview of the contents of the most important literary journals in Flanders and the Netherlands. The regularly updated database permits users to quickly search for poems, prose, essays, reviews, interviews, and plays that have been published in these influential titles over the last 30 years.


The “Gruuthuse manuscript,” one of the high points of medieval art from the Low Countries, is now viewable online at http://www.kb.nl/galerie/gruuthuse/index.html. In addition to browsing through the pages and searching the full text of the manuscript, the site permits one to listen to the song of Egidius and other medieval musical pieces from the manuscript.


The Flemish cultural heritage portal, http://www.erfgoedsite.be, provides access to a host of cultural documents, corpora of texts, databases of audio recordings and videos, photographic archives, and noteworthy and rare collections held at archives, libraries, museums, and societies in Flanders. Virtually every aspect of Flemish history and culture, from popular culture to archaeology, to history, music, literature, art, and architecture is covered by this extensive site.


In 1999, the NRC Handelsblad commissioned the Dutch journalist, historian, and cultural critic Geert Mak to visit places significant in the history of the twentieth century and to write about his personal insights in a series of articles published by the newspaper. In 2004, the accounts of his travels were compiled in In Europa: reizen door de twintigste eeuw (Amsterdam: Atlas, 2004). Following the success of the book, a television series—and a web site at http://www.ineuropa.nl/ were developed to retrace Mak’s travels and reflections. The site provides podcasts, a blog, and a map through which users can retrace and learn more about the influential author and series. While the Geert Mak has been criticized by professional historians for his inclusion of factual errors and clichés, the book and tv series have sparked a rich cultural debate in the Netherlands that is partially captured by this web site.


English Resources

Teresa Vernon, Acting Head of the French Collections at The British Library, alerts us to the 19th century British Library Newspapers website, launched in partnership with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Gale/Cengage Learning this past October. Freely accessible to UK Higher Education and Further Education institutions, the site is, however, restricted and requires a subscription for institutions outside of the UK. As the name indicates, the 19th Century British Library Newspapers database provides full-text searching of 48 British newspapers published during the 19th Century, with a focus on London national newspapers, English regional papers, home country newspapers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and titles in specialist areas such as Victorian radicalism and Chartism. Additional information may be found at http://www.bl.uk/collections/britishnewspapers1800to1900.html.


Just one month earlier, the British Library integrated its previously stand-alone Newspapers Online Catalogue into its main catalog, aptly named the “integrated catalogue.” Newspapers at the British Library may now be searched through a catalogue subset search of the integrated catalogue. As opposed to the previous stand-alone Newspapers catalogue, the integrated catalogue contains information about newspaper holdings data that includes the call number, as well as the latest microfilm or hard copy volume held for continuing titles in the Colindale collection: http://www.bl.uk/services/reading/newsrrcatalogue.html. The section on newspapers of the Integrated Catalogue Help provides additional information and instructions.


Continuing with digitization projects at the British Library, the BBC briefly reported in September on the Library’s partnership with Microsoft's Live Search Books project at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7018210.stm. Though the partnership between the British Library and Microsoft was announced in 2005 (http://www.bl.uk/news/2005/pressrelease20051104.html), the BBC’s article provides a welcome reminder.



Please continue to submit notifications and/or reviews for inclusion in the upcoming issue of Europe in Bits & Bytes, as well as any comments to Sebastian Hierl.


WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 2007 > Europe in Bits & Bytes


Editor: Paul Vermouth (vermouth@fas.harvard.edu)

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