Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BPN 1111 Dutch newspapers from 1618 onwards digitised

The Dutch National Library in The Hague has started to digitise newspapers from 1618 onwards up to the present time. The project will last two years. In total 8 million pages will be scanned , every page will be searcheable by word and be part of the Database Digital Newspapers.

The National Library has outsourced the digitisation work to the German company Content Conversion Specialists (CSS) incollaboration with the Dutch company M & R. Per month some 200.000 newspaper pages will be processed. By the beginning of 2009 the first results should be visible. The project will be financed by a Dutch national program for large scale research facilities.

The first Dutch language newspaper was published in Amsterdam in 1618. This newspaper entitled de Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, & c. was published every week and was on broad format. De Courante is seen by several scientists as the first newspaper in the world, as it was printed on a broad format and not as a pamphlet, as earlier newspapers. In the Netherlands more than 7.000 national, regional and local newspaper titles have been published since 1618. All the sections will be scanned for the sake of preservation, as many of the newspaper have been printed on perishable paper (thin and bad quality paper). The resulting database will become a resource for linguists, historians and language technologists.

The newspapers are mainly part of the National Library collection, while other newspapers come from other heritage institutions. An academic committee will assist in the selection of the titles to be digitised. As the project will meet problems with regard to copyright a committee has been set with the Dutch Publishers Association and other IP institutions to safeguard the rights of authors.

Blog Posting Number: 1111


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