2006 Fall - Europe in Bits & Bytes

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WESSWeb > Fall 2006 > 2006 Fall > Europe in Bits & Bytes

Europe in Bits & Bytes

Column Editor: Sebastian Hierl

WESS Newsletter
Fall 2006
Vol. 30, no. 1


Pan-European Resources

The Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER) project has been launched at http://www.driver-repository.eu/. Funded by the European Commission under the auspices of the Research Infrastructure, the project aims at establishing an Open Source repository providing free access to research articles, data sets, rich media, and other digital objects. DRIVER is designed to help countries to create networks of openly-accessible repositories for research information. The project will build upon existing institutional repositories and networks from countries including the Netherlands , Germany , France , Belgium and the UK . The intent is to create one large-scale virtual content resource to access and integrate individual repositories.

The European Library at http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/ continues to expand. In September of this year, the new European Digital Library Project was launched at http://edlproject.eu/ in order to integrate the bibliographic catalogs and digital collections of the national libraries of Belgium , Greece , Iceland , Ireland , Liechtenstein , Luxembourg , Norway , Spain , and Sweden into The European Library. The European Library is owned by the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) (www.cenl.org) and aims at integrating digital collections from all 45 member libraries within the next 5 years.

The European library cooperative is currently running a pilot program to expand the Open WorldCat initiative to provide wider coverage of European library collections. In the first phase of the project, holdings from European libraries currently in WorldCat will be made available and the functionality of the Open WorldCat site enhanced for European-specific search engines. Furthermore, the Open WorldCat site will be translated into languages other than English (so far: German, Spanish, French, and Dutch); see http://www.worldcat.org/.

According to the Deutsche Welle, the Internationaler Suchdienst (ITS) in Bad Arolsen is bringing its vast archive containing information on about 17.5 Million prisoners of Nazi concentration camps to the web. The ITS holds one of the largest collections documenting the Holocaust, but the German Federal Government long resisted the opening of the archive as it contains sensitive and private information on former detainees, such as data on previous convictions and sexual orientation. According to the chief historian of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, Paul Shapiro, about half of the data is now digitized: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,1973907,00.html?maca=de-rss-de-all-1119-rdf.

The Humbul Humanities Hub (Oxford University Computing Services), which discovers, reviews, and catalogues online resources suitable for learning, teaching, and research in the humanities, has undergone considerable revision as a member of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN). Humbul and RDN now offer new subject groupings, have been technically integrated, and have been re-launched under the new name Intute at http://www.intute.ac.uk/. Intute includes and expands Humbul’s offerings to the Sciences and provides links to online training and seminars. Intute is being created by a network of UK universities at which subject specialists select and evaluate websites for inclusion in the database. Intute currently contains 113,333 records.

Through Shoshannah Holdom, Content Editor at Intute, we are notified that Intute has placed online a pdf version of its new 16-page booklet, Internet Resources for Modern Languages at http://www.intute.ac.uk/artsandhumanities/support.html. The publication, designed to provide a flavor of the range and types of resources available on the Internet, details some of the most authoritative online resources for language, literature, and area studies without laying claim to being comprehensive. It further reflects the current strengths of Intute's Modern Languages collections, which lie mainly within European languages: French, German, Spanish, and Italian, though collections for Japanese, Chinese, and Scandinavian studies are undergoing significant development. Intute further provides updated editions of its previously released guides to Internet Resources for English and Internet Resources for History.

EUROPA: Gateway to the European Union at http://europa.eu/index_en.htm is the official portal of the European Union. It provides up-to-date coverage of European Union affairs and information on European integration. Users can consult all legislation currently in force or under discussion, access the websites of each of the EU institutions, and learn about the policies of the European Union.

The Digital Library of St. Gallen, Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG), has come online at http://www.cesg.unifr.ch/. The database provides access to the medieval codex manuscripts in the abbey library of St. Gallen in Switzerland . At current writing, the virtual library contains just over 100 manuscripts; the project is continuously updated.

French Language Resources

The site http://bibliodoc.francophonie.org was developed with the support of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to foster the distribution of information and communication between French-speaking peoples and libraries throughout the world. The site includes a portal conceived for library professionals that provides a repertory of links on Librarianship and Information Science in general. It is divided into four sections: 1) libraries and French-speaking resource centers; 2) French-speaking trade associations; 3) French formation centers in Librarianship and Information Science; and 4) French-speaking periodicals and digital collections in the field of Librarianship and Information Science. All resources are presented by country. The site is hosted at the Université de Montréal and contributions are requested.

The Association for the Diffusion of French Thought (Association pour la diffusion de la pensée française, ADPF), operating on behalf of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has for its mission the promotion of the French language and French-speaking culture abroad. The ADPF publishes and distributes a number of print and online materials and provides grants to educational institutions. Among the publications, the revue Vient de paraitre is highly relevant for collection development librarians, as it provides a selection, including short descriptions, of publications considered as the most authoritative and representative of French culture. Previously only available in French, this selection – together with subject bibliographies on various topics of current relevance – is now offered in English at http://www.adpf.asso.fr/adpf-publi/sommaires/sommaire_gb.html. (Previous years, available in French only, are at http://www.adpf.asso.fr/adpf-publi/vdp/index.html).

Patrimoine numérique serves as a union catalog of French digital resources, including online sites and databases as well as DVD- and CD-ROMs. Digital resources may be browsed by title or searched by keyword, as well as by a sophisticated array of access points including the type of the resource, the type of the hosting institution, geographic coverage and origin, time period, as well as the status of the digitization project. Patrimoine numérique further provides a directory of institutions engaged in digitization projects. Available at http://www.numerique.culture.fr, Patrimoine numérique is part of the Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe (Michael) initiative at http://www.michael-culture.org/.

The Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médecine et d’odontologie (Paris), in collaboration with the Collège de France et the Académie nationale de médecine, has placed online within the Medic@ digital library the works of French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey at http://www.bium.univ-paris5.fr/histmed/medica/marey.htm. In total, there are 252 documents and 13,500 pages.

The digital library of the Bibliothèque de l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art is continuously growing at: http://bibliotheque-numerique.inha.fr. The database currently includes over 367 books on the history of art, published between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Also included are the collection of catalogs from the Musée du Louvre prior to 1920, the private journal and other manuscripts of Delacroix, 18th century drawings from the Palais Royal, as well as a variety of resources and formats from the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux arts. In total, over 200,000 page images have been added, of which roughly 15% are photographs, drawings, and other visual resources, another 15% are manuscripts, and 70% books.

PROSPER at http://prosper.inist.fr is a new site supported by the CNRS and INIST with the objective of providing up-to-date information on new developments in Scholarly Communication and Information Technology. The site provides RSS feeds without commentary. Its sister-site at INIST, http://openaccess.inist.fr, includes information on new initiatives and developments in the Open Access world.

The site Liber Floridus: Les manuscrits médiévaux enluminés des bibliothèques de l'enseignement supérieur at http://liberfloridus.cines.fr/ aims at providing online access to illuminated medieval manuscripts held in French research libraries. The database contains manuscripts in page-image format from the Bibliothèque Mazarine and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. A project of the Ministère de l'Education nationale, the Centre Informatique National de l'Enseignement Supérieur, and of the CNRS' Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, Liber Floridus complements Enluminures at http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/. The latter provides access to over 4,000 manuscripts in page image format held at French public libraries (and is further described in this column of Spring 2003, Vol. 26, no. 2).

The Association de Coopération des professionnels de l'Information Musicale (ACIM) has opened a new portal for French Music librarians at http://www.acim.asso.fr. The site provides articles in the format of a blog on a host of issues relating to Music Librarianship, including bibliographies, notifications of upcoming events, as well as links to associations, and a listserv.

Bibliothèque numérique de la Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerannée, focusing on the Classics and the Ancient Near East, has come online at http://www.mom.fr/bibliotheque/bibnum/.

The publisher LMAC has placed online the archives of the Quinzaine littéraire at http://www.quinzaine-litteraire.presse.fr/home.php.

The Swiss publisher Droz (http://www.droz.org/siteDroz/index.php) is progressively placing a number of its publications online, including the Bibliographie Internationale de l'Humanisme et de la Renaissance, the journal Crimes, Histoire & Sociétés, as well as the Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance.

Since 1999, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, together with the French National Archives, and other cultural institutions, have been placing online multimedia exhibitions on famous French personalities and historical events entitled “Célébrations nationales” at http://www.celebrations.culture.fr/. Recently, the collection of exhibits has been expanded to include a site on the life and work of Alexis de Tocqueville at http://www.tocqueville.culture.fr/.

The new service MoCCAM-en-ligne at http://www.moccam-en-ligne.fr/ provides free UNIMARC records, including authority files, for the totality of the BNF’s records, as well as for new publications and records produced by www.amazon.fr.

The first three issues of a newsletter providing updates on the catalog of the BNF, including new products and services, is available at http://www.bnf.fr/pages/zNavigat/frame/infopro.htm?ancre=produits/pb-lettre.htm. Aptly entitled Actualités du catalogue: produits et services bibliographiques, the newsletter informs about procedures for the dowloading of catalog records, cataloging rules and bibliographic formats, and all subjects touching upon bibliographic control.

The first French subject thesaurus in Psychology, SantéPsy, is offered without charge as a down-loadable pdf file at http://www.ascodocpsy.org/article.php3?id_article=691. The home site, www.ascodocpsy.org, further provides a host of Psychology-related resources, such as subject bibliographies, relevant internet links, conference announcements, and more, including a searchable online bibliographic index scheduled to become come online in October 2006.

GIPRO, a French online glossary for terms commonly used in information technology has become available at http://2gipro.free.fr.

MOTBIS, a thesaurus by the National Ministry of Education is online at http://www.thesaurus.motbis.cndp.fr/site/.

To commemorate the birth of Rembrandt, the BNF is presenting an online exhibit on the Dutch painter from October 11, 2006 to January 7, 2007 . The exhibit, devoted to the artist’s engravings, is available at http://expositions.bnf.fr/rembrandt/index.htm.

Following the successful application of wikis to the library profession by Libsuccess (http://www.libsuccess.org/) and Liswiki (http://www.liswiki.com/) in the English-speaking world, a French LIS wiki entitled “Bibliopedia” is now available at http://biblio.wikia.com.

The magazine Livres Hebdo now offers an online site covering the French book world at http://www.livreshebdo.fr. The site includes two blogs: the first, by Daniel Garcia, journalist at Livres Hebdo, focuses on professional news at http://www.livreshebdo.fr/weblog/webLogText.aspx?id=11, whereas the second, by former journalist and literary critic, Christian Sauvage, concentrates on everyday life and the popular side of the book world at http://www.livreshebdo.fr/weblog/webLogText.aspx?id=15.

Persée has added two more journals to its open access database:

  • Cahiers d'études africaines, published by the Editions EHESS. Coverage is from 1960 to 1996 and will be expanded to 1999.
  • Politique étrangère, co-published by the Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri) and Armand Colin. Coverage currently extends from 1999 to 2002, but will be expanded to include back issues until 1936.

Géoportail makes it possible to view aerial photographs and maps from the Institut Géographique National (IGN) and to overlay and blend the photographs over topographic maps of France and the Dom-Tom: http://www.geoportail.fr/.

The image database of the CNRS is online at http://phototheque.cnrs.fr/. Though the database focuses on the sciences, it does cover the social sciences, as well as library and information science.

Despite previous French concern about Google's cultural hegemony, the collections of the Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique du CNRS (INIST/CNRS) are now indexed in Google and Google Scholar. This includes bibliographic references dating back to 1973.

Italian Language Resources

The Casalini Libri Digital Division has placed "Il Giardino di Archimede" online at http://ilgiardinodarchimede.casalini.it/. Now available in both CD-ROM and online versions, "Il Giardino di Archimede" is developed by a consortium of universities and public institutions with the aim of broadening access to seminal texts in the History of Mathematics. The database is regularly updated and currently contains about 510 titles in pdf format (a catalog of the titles can be viewed at the site). Included are the works of scientists and philosophers who have contributed to the development of Mathematics, such as Galileo, Newton , Descartes, Ockham, Campanella, Lucretius, among other.

If you are a fan of Beppe Grillo, “il giornale,” “Il Commissario Montalbano” (a big hit in Italy , but also in Germany ) or want to watch the latest “Ballarò,” you can view or listen to most RAI TV and radio shows at http://www.raiclicktv.it. The only requirements are time, a fast connection, and Windows Media Player.

The Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (IMSS) has placed online “The mind of Leonardo” at http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/menteleonardo/. The site, available in both Italian and English, is divided into seven chapters that invite the visitor to explore Leonardo da Vinci’s mode of thinking and learn more about this concept of the universe and knowledge. The site provides a good introduction to da Vinci’s thought, but little access to full text of his works and those of his contemporaries; for these consider the wealth of resources available through the IMSS’ library at http://www.imss.fi.it/biblio/index.html.

Spanish Language Resources

A new digital archive, the Biblioteca Virtual de Prensa Histórica or Virtual Library of Historical Press, has been inaugurated at http://www.mcu.es/prensahistorica/es/consulta/busqueda.cmd. Developed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and a number of public libraries and archives, the site provides a database of periodicals with complete bibliographic descriptions and access to page images of digitized issues. Simple and advanced search interfaces permit to search on title, publisher, publisher location, physical description, frequency, notes, added author entries, and holdings information. The database contains 1,470 digitized issues of 159 titles, with coverage from 1777 to the late 20th century. Most of these were digitized from holdings in Spain ’s public libraries, but also from the Ateneu Barcelonès or the Fundación de Investigaciones Marxistas, as well as from the editorial offices of newpapers published since the 19th century, such as the dailies La Rioja and El Progreso de Lugo. The Virtual Library of Historical Press contributes to The European Library and the European initiative of digital libraries i-2010, resulting from the Lisbon Agenda.

A posting by Jim Campbell on the WESS Romance Languages Discussion Group listserv, points out that Madrid's Universidad Complutense will be the first European library outside Britain to participate in Google's book scanning project: http://today.reuters.com/news/articlebusiness.aspx?type=ousiv&storyID=2006-09-26T124411Z_01_L26873301_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESSPRO-MEDIA-GOOGLE-MADRID-DC.XML&from=business. The Complutense holds about three million books, but the Google scanning project will focus on titles in the public-domain.

German Language Resources

Together with the recent name change from “Deutsche Bibliothek” to “Deutsche Nationalbibliothek” (new URL: www.d-nb.de), the collection responsibility of the German National Library has been expanded to include Internet publications. Beyond the traditional deposit requirements, German publishers are now also required to deposit content published online. To fulfill its requirement for long term preservation of Germany’s online cultural output, the German National Library is working with the nestor project at www.langzeitarchivierung.de.

A large number of subject portals, supported by the German Research Foundation and hosted at the corresponding Sondersammelgebietsbibliotheken and Fachbibliotheken, under the umbrella of Vascoda.de, have come online. Among these are:


Additional subject portals are accessible via Vascoda.de. All are established by subject specialists and provide centralized access to Internet resources from online databases to reference works, to subject bibliographies and publications, including e-journals, as well as to seminars, events, and discipline-specific news.

DBIS, the Datenbank-Infosystem, is a joint project supported by close to a hundred German libraries to provide cooperative descriptions and access to online databases. DBIS links to both freely available and restricted databases. Descriptions are in German only and include detailed information on contents and access terms (similar to the EZB, records indicate whether access is open or restricted). Currently there are around 5,500 databases in the system, of which close to 2,000 are available without charge . DBIS is accessible at participating libraries, such as through the University Library of Regensburg, one of its founding members: http://www.bibliothek.uni-regensburg.de/dbinfo/.

Harald </span> Fischer Verlag has placed its microfilm collection of the letters of the Nuremberg physician and natural scientist, Christoph Jakob Trew (1695-1769), online at www.haraldfischerverlag.de/trew. The database contains about 19,000 letters and drafts from 700 authors from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Already well discussed on German-E, the Bibliography of Linguistic Literature (BLLDB) is now available as a searchable online database. Further information is available at http://www.semantics.de/projekte/bll/index.html. The database is currently under consideration for consortial access via the German-North American Resources Partnership (GNARP).

The Landesgeschichtliche Informationssystem Hessen is now available at http://web.uni-marburg.de/hlgl/lagis/. The site provides a local history encyclopedia, digital atlases, maps, and a bibliography, as well as links to relevant Internet resources focusing on local history in Hessen.

The Thomas Mann-Figurenlexikon, providing brief descriptions of the characters in Thomas Mann’s works, has come online at http://www.thomas-mann-figurenlexikon.de/. The database currently describes about 400 characters, including references to their major appearances within the texts.

A major legal full text reference database, Beck Online, is online at http://rsw.beck.de/rsw/default.asp. The database contains the standard works from the C.-H.-Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung and has received good reviews in the German media.

The TextGrid project at http://www.textgrid.de/index.php?id=ueber_textgrid&L=0 is part of the D-Grid national initiative that has for aim to establish a grid infrastructure for Germany . With the support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, five community grids and an integration platform have been developed over the past year. The grids focus on the Sciences, but TextGrid is aimed at the Humanities. The goal of the grids is to integrate isolated online research projects and to create a cross-searchable corpus of texts, including dictionaries, lexica, and secondary literature, as well as bibliographic tools.

The database of the Jahresberichte für deutsche Geschichte is freely accessible online at http://jdgdb.bbaw.de/cgi-bin/jdg. As was recently noted on the Inetbib listserv, it may serve as a free alternative or as a complement to the restricted Historische Bibliographie: www.historische-bibliographie.de/ .

The portal of the Deutscher Bundestag at www.bundestag.de provides access to an abundance of legislative information, such as the full text of bills, protocols, and all publications produced by and for the Bundestag, as well as short biographical sketches of representatives and live broadcasts of debates. This includes an online glossary of legislative terms in German, French, and English. Among other things , the site permits German citizens to directly file petitions for consideration by their parliament.

The historical press materials of the Hamburgischen Welt-Wirtschafts-Archivs (HWWA) and the Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (ZBW) are being digitized with support of the DFG at http://webopac.hwwa.de/digiview/default.html . The project covers articles, company annual reports, Festschriften, and a large variety of materials on individual persons, commodities, companies, and institutions, published between 1826 and 1949. In total, this represents about 5.7 Million documents that will be digitized and made available online. Documenting international trade over the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, the database is particularly relevant for Colonial Studies. The Hamburgischen Welt-Wirtschafts-Archivs evolved out of the Hamburgische Kolonialinstitut after the loss of Germany ’s colonies following WWI. The Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften was previously the Wirtschaftsarchiv des Instituts für Weltwirtschaft.

BeNeLux Resources

The Dutch National Archives has released a number of new digital projects documenting the history of the Netherlands , its colonial past, and the impact of Dutch emigrants abroad. These include the databases:

The image database of the Dutch National Archives at http://beeldbank.nationaalarchief.nl/ has not yet been mentioned in this column. The database contains about half a million photographs from the late 19th century to the recent past, documenting all aspects of Dutch history and culture, including its former colonies.

The University of Utrecht Library holds a large collection of maps and atlases of which samples have been placed online at http://kaarten.library.uu.nl/. The growing digital collection features a large variety of resources, including thoroughly annotated maps of the world and the seas, and a series of thematic maps documenting the history of the Low Countries. The focus of the collection is on the 16th to the 19th century, but 20th century materials are also included.

The publisher IDC has recently launched several new online databases. Covering a range of disciplines and languages, the databases are based upon IDC's microfilm collections and the result of cooperation with other publishers and institutions. Further information on individual products is available through IDC's web site at http://www.idcpublishers.com/.

The national Dutch program, DARE (Digital Academic REpositories), in conjunction with Dutch universities, select scientific organizations, and SURF, has launched a national site for doctoral e-theses, entitled the “Promise of Science.” The database makes over 10,000 Dutch doctoral dissertations available online at www.DAREnet.nl/proefschriften and aims to add about 2,500 additional theses per year. The “Promise of Science” project is part of the larger DAREnet (www.DAREnet.nl), an Open Access initiative which provides free access to scholarly publications from the Netherlands and currently includes about 80,000 digital objects.

English Language Resources

The Royal Society has launched an online journal archive dating back to 1665 and containing more than 60,000 articles at http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk. Access is restricted, though one may search and browse the database freely until the end of November 2006. New content will be added in advance of new issues becoming available in print. The archive will provide access to the complete Journals published by the Royal Society: Biology Letters; Journal of the Royal Society Interface; Notes and Records of the Royal Society; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences; Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences; Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

The BBC has launched a searchable online catalog of close to a million BBC radio and TV shows dating back 75 years at http://open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax/

Google has opened a new Web site specifically for the works of William Shakespeare and related scholarly resources at http://books.google.com/googlebooks/shakespeare/?utm_source=adwords&utm_campaign=shakespeare&utm_medium=cpc. The site illustrates the combined power of the Google search engine, Google Book Search, Google Scholar, and Google Earth, by providing access to the full text of all of Shakespeare's plays and by linking to relevant scholarly articles, Internet resources, maps, and audio-visual resources, such as videos of stage productions.

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 2006 > Europe in Bits & Bytes

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

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