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EU Bookshop Digital Library goes live

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en octubre 15, 2009

EU Bookshop Digital Library goes live – All the EU publications in one place

12 million scanned pages in more than 110 000 EU publications are available free of charge for download in the EU Bookshop Digital Library. Launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the 16 October, it offers all publications edited by the Publications Office on behalf of the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies since 1952.

The Publications Office’s archives have long represented a veritable treasure trove of European history. Publications such as the address delivered by Mr Jean Monnet, President of the High Authority before the Common Assembly at the first session of September 1952 the General Report on the activities of the Community in French from 1953 can once again see the virtual light of day through the Publications Office Digital Library. New publications are added every day. In the words of Leonard Orban, Commissioner for multilingualism: “The digital library frees the memory of the European Union tied to paper since its beginning. The millions of pages now accessible to everyone in the 23 official languages demonstrate the continued commitment of the European Union to preserve and encourage the history of the Union in its linguistic diversity.”

The Publications Office Digital Library was a response to a growing demand to digitise out-of-print publications. In 2007, the Publications Office launched a PDF-on-demand service, wherein users could request publications to be retrieved from the archives and scanned as needed. The demand was so high that within six months the service was saturated. To better serve the users, it was decided to scan the industrial volumes of the entire archive.

The result – less than two years later – is an electronic library of more than 14 million pages of web-optimised PDFs available to the public free of charge. It consists of the 12 million scanned pages of historic publications and about 2 million pages of recent publications. At the rate of 1600 new publications per year, EU Bookshop is a valuable information source for citizens, journalists, education professionals, students, librarians, publishers, and anybody interested in Europe, in about 50 languages, including the possibility of ordering printed copies.

EU Bookshop content is also to become accessible via Europeana, a digitisation project of many prominent national European libraries and archives. The EU Bookshop will thus complement the national Europeana collections from the EU Institutions’ point of view.

Taking into account the timeframe of the project and the quality of the results, the Publications Office’s digital library is one of the most ambitious projects of its type in the world:

– Publications available on EU Bookshop total more than 110 000;

– 12 million pages were scanned between February 2008 and September 2009;

– The digital library represents more than 370 corporate EU institutional authors;

– About 50 languages are represented: all official EU languages and e.g. Russian and Chinese ;

– At peak production, more than 1.4 million pages were scanned per month.

Source UE


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