Saturday, February 16, 2008

BPN 1010 Preview of a European Digital Library

This week it was possible to take a sneak preview of the European Digital Library (EDL). The library should become the portal to the European digital cultural resources. From November 2008 the portal will provide searchers with digital information from European archives, museums and libraries. The demo gives the interested people an impression of what they can expect and how they can browse in paintings, photographs, books, archives, movies and sound bites from many European collections.

European Digital Library is a i2010 digital library initiative, a thematic network building on consensus. It will find solutions to the interoperability of the cultural content held by European museums, archives, audio-visual archives and libraries in the context of EDL. The results of the network now show a prototype demonstrating cross domain access to the objects and information held in the museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual archives of Europe. There will also be a series of recommendations for future research to continue to ensure access to the digital heritage of Europe.

A specific objective of the network is therefore to clear the ground to be able to propose one or more separately funded practical implementations of EDL. The network will work in harmony with the EDL Foundation and the EU Strategy Group for coordinating libraries, archives, audio-visual archives and museums cooperation for EDL. The network remains open for the lifetime of the project to all relevant cultural heritage institutions.

The criteria for inclusion in the network are sector or topic representation and reach, EU country coverage or specific technical expertise. Therefore the membership of the network to date is from more than 80 European cultural heritage associations, institutions or projects with all the European Union countries represented.

Sector or topic members will normally be organizations representing the interests of a relevant sector or part of a sector at supranational (normally European) level and capable of having multiplier effect. These are mainly networks or associations, but exceptionally individual entities, if they are a leader in a field essential to the network’s objectives. Some national executive cross-domain agencies such as ABM-Centrum (Sweden) and MLA (UK) are also partners in the network. A few significant European research projects (VideoActive, Dismarc, etc) that also represent cross-sectoral multinational consortia will contribute as well. The aim is that the interests and expertise of key cultural content providers are represented in the Network and that pan-European coverage is achieved.

The EDLnet is being coordinated by the National Library of the Netherlands and an EDLnet office will be set up at their premises to coordinate efforts and implement input from the various workgroups. It will be administered as one of the research projects of The European Library, which is a service of the Conference of European National Librarians.

Blog Posting Number: 1010

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