2009 Spring - Europe in Bits & Bytes

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Column Editor: Sebastian Hierl

Vol. 32, no. 2

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2009 > Europe in Bits & Bytes



Contents

Pan-European Resources

Europeana, the European digital library, was launched this past fall at http://www.europeana.eu/. Following initial technical difficulties, Europeana is now functional and linking to cultural resources from all over the European Union. The participants, who opened their collections to Europeana, comprise archives, libraries, museums, and research institutions, as well as national knowledge platforms, and supranational projects such as DRIVER and DIGMAP. A complete list of current participants is at http://www.europeana.eu/portal/partners.html.


The above mentioned project DIGMAP, standing for “Discovering our Past World with Digitised Maps,” is now online at http://portal.digmap.eu/. A joint endeavor of a number of European libraries, the project follows similar goals as Europeana, namely to aggregate metadata from European national libraries, in order to enhance discovery and access to heritage collections--in this case, with a focus on ancient maps and relevant print and online resources.


The Library of Congress, UNESCO and partners launched the World Digital Library at http://www.wdl.org. Quoting from the announcement: "The World Digital Library will make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research."


The Bernstein Memory of Paper site, at http://tinyurl.com/ddljdw, proposes to study the history of paper, as well as paper as a material product. The site provides resources on historical research on paper in Europe, including technical expertise and measurements of the structural characteristics of paper, support for the creation of new paper databases, and an introduction into digital paper studies. The site is the product of the Bernstein Consortium, at http://www.bernstein.oeaw.ac.at/, which “produces a digital infrastructure for the expertise and history of paper based on images visualizing the paper's structure. The individual resources are databases of watermarks and other annotated features, image measurement software, contextual resources for cartography and bibliography, and an integrated workspace.”


Via Claude Potts and the Chronicle of Higher Education (http://tinyurl.com/czxl3h), we are alerted to the Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts at http://manuscripts.cmrs.ucla.edu/. The project at UCLA aims at providing a centralized online archive of medieval manuscripts holdings around the world. The project currently focuses on European and North American holdings, but aims at including descriptive records and holdings information from all over the world. On the same topic, one should also note:


As well as Parker on the Web, a project uniting Corpus Christi College, Stanford University Libraries, and Harrassowitz, at http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/. The project receives its own entry here, as it has not yet been included in this column. Parker on the Web provides an interactive, web-based workspace designed to support use and study of the manuscripts in the historic Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.


In addition to Parker on the Web, the Stanford University Libraries launched the Super-Enlightenment website, currently in its beta version, at: http://collections.stanford.edu/supere/ (also http://superenlightenment.stanford.edu). Following the announcement, the collection “assembles [...] rare works in French written between 1716 and 1835, covering mythology, alchemy, religion, free-masonry, science, and other topics. [...] This text collection currently consists of 64 volumes both held by Stanford University Libraries and gathered from other library collections, presented as searchable PDFs.” The site is further enriched by bio-bibliographical essays and an introduction by the editor.


Open Access is, of course, always an important topic with numerous developments in Europe. The SPARC Open Access Newsletter and Peter Suber’s blog, among numerous other sites and resources, provide a good means to stay up to date. I’m including here a few noteworthy developments from the SPARC Newsletter of 3/2/09, which I copied from Peter Suber’s blog:

--Note that one can subscribe to the regular RSS feeds of the blog, but it is also possible to remain abreast of the most important OA developments, by subscribing to the blog's HOT OAN RSS feeds only.


Further news in Open Access was made by the launch of the project Publishing and the Ecology of European Research (PEER), at http://www.peerproject.eu/. With the support of the European Union, PEER will “investigate the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (so called Green Open Access or stage-two research output) on reader access, author visibility, and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research.” The collaboration between publishers, repositories, and researchers will last from 2008 to 2011.


400,000 biblical references on the Fathers of the Church are available through the project BIBLINDEX at http://www.biblindex.mom.fr. The project is supported by the Institut des Sources Chrétiennes (CNRS) and the Région Rhône-Alpes current provides access to about 400,000 biblical references from Patristic Greek and Latin texts of the first five centuries. The references include those encompassed by the Biblia Patristica (CNRS Editions, 1975-2000), extended by the unpublished archives of Centre d'Analyse et de Documentation Patristique (CADP). To access the database, users have to register.


Via Dick Hacken and American Libraries Direct we are informed that the original Schindler’s List has been digitized at http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2009/heritage/images/01.html.


Also via American Libraries Direct we are alerted to British Library's Holocaust recordings placed online at http://sounds.bl.uk/Browse.aspx?collection=Jewish-Holocaust-survivors. The oral history project, "Living Memory of the Jewish Community," collected interviews with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children between 1987 and 2000.


With the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Institute for European History in Mainz has announced the upcoming launch of Europäische Geschichte Online (EGO). Following the announcement, EGO is “an online European transcultural history composed of multimedia knowledge items encompassing the period from 1450 to 1950” that is designed to be “methodologically pragmatic, international and interdisciplinary.” EGO is meant to combine “a variety of approaches and perspectives from debates in multiple languages and thus interlinks international scholars working in the various disciplines of European history.” Additional information is at http://tinyurl.com/cbyk6l. An example of some of the resources one might expect is provided by the “Digital Atlas on the History of Europe since 1500” at http://www.ieg-maps.uni-mainz.de/AtlasEuropa/, which currently focuses on four themes: the political map of Europe; the religious-confessional map of Europe; the dynastic map of Europe; and populations, economies and societies in Europe.


Also with the support of the European Union, the search engine MultiMatch was launched at http://www.multimatch.org/. MultiMatch is designed to provide access to online cultural heritage content across media types and languages boundaries, and to unite the disparate online holdings of libraries, museums, galleries and audiovisual archives, as well as from primary sources such as popular magazines and newspapers. Unfortunately, users must first register before they can use MultiMatch.

French Resources

The BnF posted a helpful site on JMG Le Clézio this past October: http://www.bnf.fr/pages/catalog/pdf/leclezio.pdf


Babelthèque, at http://www.babeltheque.com/, provides an innovative service that enables libraries to import into their online catalogs the content produced by users of http://www.babelio.com, including reviews, citations, subject tags, annotations, and more.


The site of the Bulletin des Bibliothèques de France (BBF) has been revamped at http://bbf.enssib.fr. The information has remained mostly the same, the main feature being that one can search the archive of the BBF and to access individual issues.


Through Jeffry Larson and Nathalie Fargier, we are informed of Persée’s new interface at http://www.persee.fr/ and of new services, such as the cooperation between Persée and Revues.org. Users who are in one database will automatically be taken to the appropriate location in the other database, for bibliographic references to articles contained in titles or issues not included in the originating database. In fact, Persée and Revues.org will not only serve as sources and targets to each other——which is already true for Persée and EBSCO, as well as ProQuest databases——but the two databases are now fully interoperable through the implementation of OAI-PMH and the sharing of XML metadata (METS and Dublin Core). This provides for federated searching and for seamless access to the data contained in both databases. Furthermore, the two projects are coordinating their coverage for shared titles. Rather than duplicating each other, the two projects are aiming at providing complementary coverage, with Persée preserving archival issues, while Revue.org will be focusing on recent publications (often with restricted access). The titles for which these features have been implemented are, at the time of writing:

  • Archives des sciences sociales des religions
  • Cahiers d'études africaines
  • Géocarrefour
  • Géomorphologie
  • Journal de la société des américanistes
  • Journal des africanistes
  • L'Homme
  • Mots. Les langages du politique
  • Revue d'économie industrielle
  • Revue européenne de migrations internationales

It should also be noted that Persée is now indexed in Google Scholar.


Jeffry Larson reminds us that these developments and more may be followed at Echodocs.net http://www.echosdoc.net/.


The website "Les manuscrits de Madame Bovary" has been launched by the Université de Rouen and the Centre Flaubert at http://bovary.univ-rouen.fr. Browse the site for historical information, reviews, etc. and read through the manuscripts of this landmark novel.


The online video portal Solidairtv.com http://www.solidairtv.com was recently launched with the support of the French government to promote socially responsible video and to provide an outlet for French cultural projects, including AV-projects by libraries, archives, media centers and museums.


The Réseau francophone des bibliothèques nationales numériques (RFBNN) has come online at http://www.rfbnn.org/. Its mission is to provide an umbrella to all francophone digital library projects, including both existing digital libraries, as well as endeavors still in the project phase. The site permits one to browse through digital content by format (books, journals, newspapers, maps, and archival materials) and by country, as well as to search by title, author, and subject.


In partnership with the École des hautes études en sciences sociales EHESS (laboratoire de démographie historique), the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the Institut géographique national, have created an online color facsimile of Cassini’s eighteenth century map at http://tinyurl.com/cfnd9v.


With the support of the CNRS, the portal Daphne (for “Données en archéologie, préhistoire et histoire sur le net”) was launched this past November at http://www.daphne.cnrs.fr. Daphne aims at providing a single access point to French bibliographic databases covering the history of humanity in all its aspects, from the earliest signs of human activity to the first millennium A.D. The project currently unites three previously distinct databases: the Bulletin analytique d'histoire romaine (BAHR), Francis (for the disciplines Pre- and Protohistory, Art and Archeology, and the History and Science of Religions) and Frantiq-CCI (a cooperative of research centers focusing on Archeology and Ethnology). Daphne is free of charge.


The digital library of the Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée, Digimom, has added new volumes to its online collection at http://www.mom.fr/digimom/index.php. Digimom focuses on classical texts and the history and archeology of Egypt and the Greco-Roman civilization.


The site http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/inventai/patrimoine/, supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, provides a searchable inventory of French objects of cultural heritage, broadly focusing on architecture and material objects, including historical buildings, monuments, objects of everyday use, transportation, industrial machinery, etc. The site is comprised of several databases, with the architectural database, Mérimée, and the site describing material objects, focusing on furniture (in its widest sense), Palissy, serving as its backbone. A number of associated databases of images, maps, and bibliographic information complete the site and individual entries link into related catalogs and directories of national heritage, such as Enluminures (manuscripts) and other sites.


If you would like to learn more about the present usage of the French language throughout the world, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication has created the Corpus de la parole at http://www.corpusdelaparole.culture.fr.


Published since 1963, France’s most popular encyclopedic reference work, Quid, has now migrated entirely online (the print is no longer published): http://www.quid.fr.


MageScientifica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque des sciences et de l'industrie (BSI) now proposes hundreds of online books and periodicals issues at http://www.cite-sciences.fr/bsi/scientifica.


This past December 2008, the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information (BPI) revamped its site at http://www.bpi.fr/fr/index.html.


The proceedings of the l'Assemblée nationale are now available online at http://archives.assemblee-nationale.fr/index.asp. The documents made freely available include the proceedings of legislative sessions since 1958.


The subject bibliographies and reports by the Bibliothèque de Sciences Po are available at http://bibliotheque.sciences-po.fr/fr/produits/bibliographies/.


Through the Scout Report, we are alerted that the University of Alabama has digitized over 170 French Revolutionary Pamphlets at http://content.lib.ua.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=%2FFrRvlution. Stemming from its W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library's Rare Books Collection, the pamphlets include writings by well-known revolutionaries, including Desmoulins, Danton, and Robespierre. The collections may be browsed or searched by keyword. All pamphlets are in French.


This notice prompted several follow-up messages on the WESS-ROM list about similar projects, including the collection of French Revolutionary Pamphlets at the University of Florida: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/?b=UF00026727, Emory: http://beck.library.emory.edu/frenchrevolution/index.php, and—though from the 1848 Revolution—at Chicago: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/orgs/ARTFL/projects/CRL/. In this context, I should also note that Harvard has launched a massive digitization project to make available its vast pamphlets collection, which includes materials in all subjects and from all parts of the world. The project is based upon and expands the digitization of Harvard’s over 5,700 Latin American pamphlets, available at http://vc.lib.harvard.edu/vc/deliver/home?_collection=LAP. Some of the new collections currently being digitized cover disparate topics such as 2,500 pamphlets that coincide with the beginning of World War I, as well as pamphlets from the Boer War. The project is described at http://hcl.harvard.edu/news/2009/pamphlet_digitization.html.


Concluding this French section is a brief entry on Théodore de Bèze. The Société du Musée Historique de la Réformation and the Swiss publisher Droz have placed online the correspondence of Théodore de Bèze at http://www.droz.org/corrBeze/index.html.

Italian Resources

The Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, founded in 1925 by Giovanni Treccani and publisher of the Enciclopedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti and the Dizionario biografico degli italiani, is providing free access to its Enciclopedia online and Vocabolario online at http://www.treccani.it/Portale/sito/english/mainEnglish.html. In addition to providing a blog and news pertaining to the Italian language, the site includes a helpful and seemingly comprehensive list of Italian online dictionaries (both language and subject specific) at http://www.treccani.it/Portale/sito/comunita/scelti_nel_web/dizionari/.


Claude Potts alerted us to the annual report on publishing in Italy by the Giornale della libreria at http://www.giornaledellalibreria.it/. The site provides full access to the report (in Italian and English) on the state of publishing in Italy in 2008, as well as to the reports for 2006 and 2007.

Spanish Resources

The Foundation García Lorca has unveiled its web site containing countless historical documents on the life work of the Spanish poet at http://www.garcia-lorca.org. The online archive includes digital facscimiles of the works of Lorca and provides links to news and events pertaining to the poet. To promote wide dissemination of this information, the contents of the website have been incorporated into the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes at http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/bib_autor/garcialorca.


The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia is providing free access to its online archives, documenting 127 years of news coverage, at http://www.lavanguardia.es/hemeroteca/. All issues since February 1, 1881 are fully searchable and browsable.


The Real Academia de la Historia has placed online its Diccionario biográfico at http://www.rah.es/cdeb.htm.


Through Adan Griego we are alerted to the online version of the Atlas Cronológico de la Historia de España at http://www.atlasache.es/ver_seccionFija.aspx?id=2. Unfortunately, the site is limited to subscribers to the print only.


Adan also noted that the complete archive of Spain's Revista de Libros (1996-present) is now available to subscribers only at http://www.revistadelibros.com/. According to Adan, the publisher of the Revista is familiar with license agreements used by US libraries and encourages subscriptions either directly with them or through vendors.


Via Sarah Wenzel, we are alerted to the Spanish/English translation tools offered by the Library Science Program at the Universidad de Granada at http://eubd1.ugr.es. The site provides access to an online language dictionary, IFLA Glossary, and LIS dictionary translating professional terms from English into Spanish (and vice versa).


Sarah further informed the list of the Spanish internet broadcasting site literalia.tv devoted to literature at http://www.literalia.tv/.


Jim Campbell referred us to BusalBlog to learn more about the Google scanning project and cooperation with the Complutense at http://busal.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/264/, noting that 25,000 books from before 1860 have been scanned. Jim also provided a direct link to the project at http://www.ucm.es/BUCM/atencion/25403.php.

German Resources

The Jenaer Liederhandschrift, one of the most precious manuscripts of the German Middle Ages, is now available as a digital facsimile at http://www.urmel-dl.de/content/main/misc/lieder.xml. The manuscript from 1330 is the most precious treasure of the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek (ThULB) Jena (call number: Ms. El. f. 101), which holds the largest collection of Middle High German Minnesang or “Sangspruchdichtung” in central Germany. The Jenaer Liederhandschrift is remarkable as it contains a large number of unique lyrics and melodies that were preserved nowhere else. The Codex was restored and digitized by the ThULB Jena, thus providing the first full-color reproduction of the manuscript. The site includes the annotations and comments by noted specialists in the field and further provides access to all manuscript fragments associated with the Jena Codex.


As announced on Open Access News (Peter Suber’s blog), the publisher Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht has started to provide select titles in Education from its series Studien des Georg-Eckert-Instituts zur Internationalen Bildungsmedienforschung in Open Access through Fachportal Pädagogik at http://www.pedocs.de/.


In cooperation with the publisher C. H. Beck, the Eichstätt Information System for Classical Studies at the Catholic University Eichstätt is providing free online access to its Gnomon Bibliographic Database at http://www.gnomon-online.de. The database is updated on a monthly basis and—for institutions preferring to own the data and to locally host it on their network—may now also be fully downloaded at http://www.gnomon.ku-eichstaett.de/Gnomon/gnomon-download.html. The latter replaces all previous versions distributed on CD-ROM and will be updated regularly.


On the occasion of his 200th Birthday, the Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum (MDZ) of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has digitized the 157 volumes of the first edition of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Gesammelte Werke (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1874-77) at http://tinyurl.com/cn62j9.


This past fall, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB) also announced that it has digizited its thousandth incunabulum. With a collection of close to 20,000 incunabula in 9,680 different editions, the BSB holds one of the largest incunabula collections in the world. Its goal is to digitize all 9,680 unique editions in its collection. The catalog of inucabula of the BSB may be searched at http://www.bsb-muenchen.de/Inkunabeln.181.0.html.


As announced to GermanE, the Goethe-Institut New York Library is pleased to announce the launch of its new Current Writing blog: http://blog.goethe.de/current-writing/! Following the announcement by Katherine Lorimer, the library of the Goethe-Institut New York has “taken the best of our Current Writing in German website——German literature news from around the country, events announcements, our Showcase of New German Books, plus book reviews and author in residence information——and presented it in a more user-friendly, frequently-updated, blog format.” Targeted at an American audience, the blog is available in English only. Comments about the blog and the site are welcome and should be directed at Katherine Lorimer.


Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) perspectivia.net was launched this fall at http://www.perspectivia.net/, as the “international cross-epochal online publication platform for the institutes of the ‘Foundation of German Humanities Institutes Abroad’ (DGIA) and their respective cooperation partners.” According to the web site, “[t]he objective of perspectivia.net is to offer barrier-free access to selected academic findings of the institutes abroad: based on the open-access principle academic communication shall be advanced and intensified. perspectivia.net provides texts originally published in electronic form as well as print publications presented in a retro-digitalised form. Journals, reviews, monographs and conference proceedings searchable in full text and via metadata are available on perspectivia.net in constantly rising quantities.” Jim Campbell, who announced the site on the WESS listserv, comments that the digital version of Francia-Recensio (1973-2006) currently constitutes the largest content, but that the site further includes the Bulletin from the DHI London, as well as monographs and reviews from the DHI Moscow and a conference on Frederick the Great, the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser, und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg.


DaSinD online, the “Datenbank Schriftstellerinnen in Deutschland 1945 ff.,” focusing on literature by and about Women, has launched DaSinD Texte at http://www.dasind.uni-bremen.de/. DaSinD Texte provides a scholarly database of citations that are described and thematically organized, permitting one to identify relevant quotations by subject or persons treated. The quotes are limited to excerpts from first or critical editions and harvested and provided online with the permission of the authors.


The Bundesarchiv and Wikimedia Deutschland are cooperating to place about 100.000 images on the subject of German History in Wikimedia Commons in Open Access. Additional information and images may be browsed at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Bundesarchiv.


The Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlaendischen Gesellschaft (ZDMG) is online in full text at http://menadoc.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/dmg/periodical/structure/2327. Published since 1847 by the Deutsche Morgenlaendische Gesellschaft (DMG), founded in 1845, the ZDMG is one of the leading scientific periodicals in the field of Oriental and African studies. In addition to the ZDMG the society published for a certain period of time 3 other scientific journals which dealt with particular aspects of Oriental studies:

The project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) aims to digitize all volumes of all the journals published by the DMG until the present day. Full text searchable access will be provided through the Middle East Virtual Library MENALIB - MENAcontents at http://ssgdoc.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/ -- and the scanned images will also be included in the catalog of the German National Library (http://www.d-nb.de/), DigiZeitschriften (http://www.digizeitschriften.de/), and the Zentrales Verzeichnis Digitalisierter Drucke (http://www.zvdd.de/).

Austrian Resources

The Österreichische Historische Bibliographie (ÖHB), by the Institute of History at the University of Klagenfurt, is now online at http://wwwg.uni-klu.ac.at/oehb/. The ÖHB lists the publications of Austrian history, insofar as they are published in Austria. Starting with the year 1945, monographs, series of works, articles from commemorative publications, anthologies, magazines and periodicals, conference proceedings, essay collections and catalogs, as well as master's theses, dissertations, and Habilitations, as well as subject and personal bibliographies, are recorded in the ÖHB.


Through Brian Vetruba we are alerted to “Frauen in Bewegung: 1918–1938. Biographien, Vereinsprofile, Dokumente,” which was launched this past February at http://www.fraueninbewegung.onb.ac.at. “Frauen in Bewegung: 1918–1938. Biographien, Vereinsprofile, Dokumente” is a new online project of Ariadne, the Austrian National Library’s documentary service specializing on Women’s Studies (http://www.onb.ac.at/ev/about/ariadne.htm). The site offers access to historical and bibliographic data (including to books, periodicals, images, and other archival materials) as well as a growing number of full-text documents from the Austrian National Library.

Swiss Resources

The Swiss Virtual Catalog (CH VK) at http://www.chvk.ch/ — based upon the same technology and looking very much like the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK) at http://www.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/hylib/en/kvk.html — has been online since 2001. Over the years, the number of participating libraries has grown considerably and it now has expanded its coverage to include the five union catalogs from German-speaking Switzerland, the Informationsverbund Deutschschweiz (IDS), with information over 13.5 Million Titles. Including the libraries of the IDS, the Swiss National Library, RERO, and the major public libraries, as well as government institutions, the CH VK provides the most comprehensive bibliographic coverage of Swiss libraries.


The complete archives of the Journal de Genève, from the first issue of 1826 to its demise in 1998, are now freely accessible online at http://www.letempsarchives.ch. The project is is the result of a collaboration of the Swiss National Library (http://www.nb.admin.ch) and the Bibliothèque de Genève (http://www.ville-ge.ch/bge/), with the support of the Fondation de Famille Sandoz, Mirabaud & Cie, and PubliGroupe. The database permits to browse through the archive by date or to search the full text of the articles, as well images and advertisements, by general keyword. As announced on the web site, the archives of the Journal de Genève will soon be completed with those from La Gazette de Lausanne and Le Nouveau Quotidien.

Scandinavian Resources

The Norwegian publisher Kunnskapsforlaget (itself owned by Aschehoug and Gyldendal), has placed the Store norske leksikon (SNL)—which is generally considered to be Norway's leading encyclopedia—online at http://www.snl.no/. This online version of the SNL mixes information provided by professionals (editors and scholars) with reviewed and vetted information from participating volunteers. The site currently provides access to over 300,000 articles and includes entries from the Norsk biografisk leksikon (NBL).

BeNeLux Resources

The Institute of Netherlands History (INGH) has digitized the Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatiën (RGP) at http://www.inghist.nl/retro/en/index_html. "The RGP are a series of source editions, the first volume of which was published in 1905. Today, the series comprises 450 volumes that contain documents about the history of the Netherlands." The RGP series is only one of the many historical documents and reference works digitized and made available by the INGH. Visit the incredibly rich website of the INGH at http://www.inghist.nl/ for full information.


Tresoar, the Friesland Historical and Literary Centre, has been online at http://www.tresoar.nl/ since 2002. It is, however, new to this column and the foremost research center for anyone interested in the history of Friesland. Tresoar was created through the consolidation of the Frysk Letterkundich Museum en Dokumintaasjesintrum (FLMD), the Provincial and Buma library (PBF), and the Public Records Office in Friesland (RAF). The site provides access to its online catalog and to its digital library that includes a growing number of rare and special collections, ranging from manuscripts to early printed books, periodicals, pamphlets, children’s literature, atlases, and photographs, as well as select archival documents.


For anyone planning archival Research in Belgium, the site of the Belgian State Archives at http://arch.arch.be/, will provide the most comprehensive resource to identify and locate resources throughout the country. The site unites and provides virtual access to the three sites of the National Archives of Belgium located in Brussels and to the 16 State Archives that are distributed throughout the country. In addition to the online catalog describing the holdings of the archives, visitors can browse through the online content, including the proceedings of ministerial cabinet meetings from 1914 to 1949 and papers documenting the “Affaire Plisnier” (named after Oscar Plisnier, Financial Secretary during German occupation). For those interested in Belgium, the site provides a wonderful complement to the guide to Historical Research in Europe at http://arch.arch.be/content/view/405/207/lang,nl_BE/.


Belgica, the digital library of the Royal Belgian Library, was launched this past February at http://belgica.kbr.be/. Belgica provides access to a growing collection of digitized materials, ranging from manuscripts, prints, maps, sheet music, and sound recordings, to collections of coins, medals, drawings, and prints. In addition, the site includes a search engine indexing the newspapers L'Avenir du Luxembourg and L'Indépendance Belge, and highlights collection of particular interest through virtual exhibitions. The materials included in Belgica are shared with Europeana http://www.europeana.eu/.


The Médiathèque de la Communauté française de Belgique has recently opened its downloading platform to the general public at http://www.lamediatheque.be/. Previously restricted to members only, the downloading platform now permits to listen to excerpts and download (the latter against a charge) of over 800,000 musical works ranging from classical music to rock, world music, jazz, and everything in-between.

English Resources

The new Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOSnet) by the British Library and JISC's (Joint Information Systems Committee)—described at http://www.ethos.ac.uk/— provides a centralized access to theses presented in the majority of British universities. Scholars throughout the world are now able to search and view British online theses through a central database at http://ethos.bl.uk/. Located at the British Library site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, the service automatically harvests e-theses from British institutional repositories and digitizes paper theses from participating institutions to offer one single point of access. To download e-these users must first register and accept the terms and conditions.


The British Library has placed online a series of videos detailing best practices for the use and preservation of library materials at http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/ccare/collectioncarevideos/index.html.


BookBrunch is an information site and daily news service for the book industry. It is run by Liz Thomson and Nicholas Clee, writers and journalists who are both former editors of trade journals: http://www.bookbrunch.co.uk/.




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


WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Spring 2009 > Europe in Bits & Bytes


Editor: Jeff Staiger (jstaiger@uoregon.edu)

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