The EU-funded EuropeanaTravel project
The EU-funded EuropeanaTravel project
Paul Ayris, LIBER Vice-President, Library Services University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK, p.ayris@ucl.ac.uk

based on material compiled and edited by David Fuegi (eremo srl) and Toomas Schvak (National Library of Estonia)

Abstract

EuropeanaTravel is a targeted project for cultural content in the target area digital libraries of the eContentplus 2008 Work Programme funded by the European Commission.[1] Its overall objective is to digitise content on the theme of travel and tourism for use in Europeana[2] as requested by the EDL Foundation.[3] The themed content will come from the wonderful collections of major university libraries and national libraries. The project is supported by CENL[4] and LIBER,[5] two founder members of the EDL Foundation, and by the Foundation itself. A secondary objective of the project is further to strengthen collaboration between CENL and LIBER by extending their experience of joint working, thus increasing human interoperability in support of Europeana. Other objectives include creating a LIBER closed access aggregation service to aggregate material from LIBER members for Europeana, continuing to mobilise support for Europeana amongst university libraries in a systematic way, and supporting the spread of best practice in digitisation by libraries. The consortium’s 19 members include 17 library members providing content from 16 countries drawn roughly equally from the membership of CENL and LIBER and from all European regions. The project will run for two years and work closely and flexibly with the Europeana team. The EuropeanaTravel project was launched in Tallinn on 11 May 2009 and this article has been compiled to celebrate that event.

Key Words
EuropeanaTravel; digitisation; The European Library
Introduction

In a recent article in LIBER Quarterly,[6] the author looked at the current state of digitisation activity in Europe. Section 3 noted that LIBER had submitted a bid on European travel materials to the eContentplus funding programme. This project has been successful in gaining funding from the European Commission and was successfully launched at Tallinn on 11 May 2009. The purpose of this article is to look in greater detail at the content and objectives of the EuropeanaTravel project. The article draws on information which was drawn together by David Fuegi (eremo srl) and Toomas Schvak from the National Library of Estonia, who is the project Co-Ordinator.

Nature of the EuropeanaTravel project

EuropeanaTravel is a project highly focused on the needs and development of Europeana. It was proposed by founder members of the EDL Foundation and by the EDL Foundation itself and is a targeted project for cultural content in the target area digital libraries of the eContentplus 2008 Work Programme. Its overall objective is to digitise content on the theme of travel and tourism for use in Europeana as requested and supported by the EDL Foundation. It will also provide a means for research libraries which need the service to aggregate their material for Europeana on a sustainable long-term basis.

The main issue addressed by EuropeanaTravel is to bring together selected complementary content on specific themes from different countries in the European Digital Library, through the targeted digitisation of material held by cultural institutions. This is precisely aligned to the objective of action line 5.3 of the call. In addition, the project addresses certain key strategic issues.

Travel and tourism, the theme selected for digitisation in this project, is one of the three priority themes announced by the EDL Foundation to its members in its Call for Interested Content Providers for Cross Domain Digitization Proposals circulated in February 2008. The topics on the list were selected based on the research done by the EDLnet [Europeana] network to identify priorities for content for Europeana.

The choice of theme for this proposal is grounded on Europeana’s stated priorities but also on the great strength of the partners’ collections in this area and on the digitisation priorities of each contributing partner. Partners have reviewed their proposed content list to ensure the best possible fit with the needs of Europeana and best possible overlap with local needs. The material potentially available is fascinating, extensive and diverse, providing potential input from many cultures and on many aspects of the chosen topic in many languages. Much of the material is also visually attractive.

The cultural institutions making this proposal are university and research libraries and national libraries belonging to CENL and LIBER, two of the founding associations of the EDL Foundation. This mix of partners is a result of a strategic choice to strengthen the human interoperability between key EDL Foundation partners by working together on a joint project. The choice of partners with a relatively homogeneous view of the issues makes for a cost-effective project and the inclusion of strong partners from many countries, including many from the new Member States, contributes to the multicultural dimension of EU policy.

Europeana plans to take content from a number of aggregators and hopes not to deal with individual institutions. Whilst CENL members (national libraries) have The European Library as an aggregator, LIBER needs to find a solution to this issue for some of its members. This project identifies and creates a closed access aggregation service as a cost-effective solution on a sustainable basis so that university and research libraries can continue to provide input to Europeana. The service will be available to any LIBER member, not only partners in this project. The project will also investigate the availability of aggregators for university libraries in all Member States to inform planning and development.

Description of the Project Objectives

EuropeanaTravel has 5 principal objectives:

  • to digitise library content on the theme of travel and tourism for Europeana;

  • to establish an aggregator through which LIBER libraries which require such a service can provide content to Europeana; and to seek a sustainable basis for the aggregator’s continuing functioning;

  • to deepen collaboration between CENL and LIBER in support of Europeana;

  • to mobilise the efforts of the research libraries in support of Europeana;

  • to provide examples of best practice in digitisation methods and processes, constituting a learning opportunity for all libraries wishing to supply digitised material to Europeana.

Expected Results

The plan is to digitise the material in Table 1 and make it available to Europeana. As a result, a lot of material which might otherwise have been known only locally will be available to users all over the world. The range of media is one of the great strengths of the project. It has not yet been possible to standardise units of measurement, but Table 1 contains no double counting. So the 5,120 books — maybe 1 million pages — are in addition to the 107,400 pages listed separately. Final estimates will be made in the light of actual costs at the time the work is to be done. The consortium is likely to produce more digital objects than listed in the table as some partners have provided their figures according to their minimal programme.

Table 1

Overview of object types to be contributed in EuropeanaTravel.

Object type Numeric
Images 16,800
Pages 107,400
Maps 4,260
Books 5,120
Documents 6,080
Glass plates 1,130
Film negatives 30,000
Photographic objects 9,200
Journal pages 217,250
Shellacs 100
Postcards 25,000
Manuscripts 9
Graphic sheets 900

The second main result will be the creation of a LIBER closed access aggregation service to aggregate material from LIBER members for Europeana and to continue to mobilise support for Europeana amongst university libraries in a systematic way.

The third main result will be to establish a closer working relationship than existed hitherto between research libraries and national libraries.

A fourth significant outcome will be the mobilisation of the efforts of the research libraries in support of Europeana.

A fifth major result will be the best practice examples of digitisation methods and processes which will provide a learning opportunity and a chance to benefit from technical knowhow for all libraries wishing to supply digitised material to Europeana.

Other less quantifiable but nonetheless significant results expected from the project include the following:

  • the project is one of the first attempts where libraries actually work together in digitisation at a European level;

  • digitisation will be done according to commonly agreed standards;

  • through a multiplier effect in the LIBER network, other libraries will be encouraged to prepare their collections for Europeana as well.

Project Partners

One of the main aims of the project is to pull together a wide and diverse partnership from Europe’s university and national libraries. The project partners are:

Table 2

Project partners in EuropeanaTravel.

Participant name Short name Country
National Library of Estonia RR Estonia
National Library of Finland UH.NLF Finland
National Library of Latvia LNB Latvia
National Library of Poland NLP Poland
Austrian National Library ONB Austria
Slovak National Library SNK Slovakia
National and University Library NUK Slovenia
EDL Foundation EDL The Netherlands
Eremo srl. EREMO Italy
UCL (University College London) UCL United Kingdom
National Library of Wales NLW United Kingdom
Lund University Library LUB Sweden
National Library of The Netherlands KB The Netherlands
University Library of Regensburg UREG Germany
Moravian Library in Brno MZK The Czech Republic
University Library of Innsbruck UIBK Austria
University and National Library of Debrecen DE Hungary
The Library of Trinity College Dublin TCD Ireland
State and University Library of Lower Saxony UGOE Germany

Partners in this proposal have significant collections on travel and tourism, but the choice of partners also strengthens and deepens present and future strategic collaboration between CENL and LIBER, both of which are key founder members of the EDL Foundation. The EDL Foundation is itself participating in the consortium to ensure adequate liaison and coordination.

The aim of the EDL Foundation is to provide cross-domain access to Europe’s cultural heritage. The Foundation is expected to lead future development work on Europeana (EDL) funded by the current eContentplus call. The Foundation facilitates formal agreement across cultural heritage domains on how to co-operate in the delivery and sustainability of a joint portal and provides a legal framework for use by the EU for funding purposes and as a springboard for future governance.

The Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) is a foundation under Dutch law with the aim of increasing and re-inforcing the role of national libraries in Europe, in particular in respect of their responsibilities for maintaining the national cultural heritage and ensuring the accessibility of knowledge in that field. Members of CENL are the national librarians of all Member States of the Council of Europe. CENL works closely with the Commission, providing The European Library (TEL)[7] as a model for the European Digital Library and playing a key role in Europeana and the EDL Foundation.

The Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER), a foundation under Dutch law, is the principal association of the major research libraries of Europe. It was founded in 1971 under the auspices of the Council of Europe. Its current membership includes research libraries from more than 40 countries. Its overall aim is to assist research-led universities in Europe to support a functional network across national boundaries in order to ensure the preservation of Europe’s cultural heritage, to improve access to collections in European research libraries, and to provide more efficient information services in Europe. LIBER is a founder member of the EDL Foundation and its membership has significant potential to support the development of Europeana in many ways.

Programme Objectives

The eContentplus work programme for 2008[8] includes within the digital libraries chapter 5.3 a call for targeted projects for cultural content. The EuropeanaTravel proposal is a specific response to this request and complies with the objectives and the conditions for such actions namely:

  • To bring together selected complementary content on specific themes from different countries in the European Digital Library, through the targeted digitisation of material held by cultural institutions.

  • The collections to be digitised, which will include different types of material (e.g., books, audiovisual materials, sound, archives, newspapers) are held by cultural institutions from different European countries.

  • The material to be digitised has been selected through a thematic approach. The themes should be of interest to a broad public, as required by Europeana.

  • The proposal demonstrates the added value of bringing the selected content from different countries together in the European Digital Library.

  • The digitisation will result in a critical mass of complementary content on a specific theme to be made accessible through the European Digital Library.

  • Content will be made available for citizens through the European Digital Library immediately after digitisation and permanently thereafter. A channel for providing more content (the LIBER aggregator) will also be created.

As a result of this project, a significant quantity of cultural material held by cultural institutions from different countries, which is related to specific themes of interest to a broad public, will be digitised and made accessible through the European Digital Library and the future work of the EDL Foundation is strengthened and underpinned.

European Dimension: The Communication ‘i2010: Digital Libraries’

The eContentplus Work Programme is part of the Commission’s policy announced in 2005, ‘i2010 — A European Information Society for growth and employment’.[9] Like the work programme itself, this proposal supports and advances the i2010 digital libraries agenda, specifically in respect of cultural heritage. One of the main objectives of the Digital Libraries Initiative is to achieve 'the European Digital Library', which will give citizens direct access from their computer to cultural collections from all Member States. If funded, this proposal will play a key role in achieving and sustaining that objective.

One of the actions announced by the Commission in the Digital Libraries communication was to ‘catalyse and stimulate work of the national libraries’. This led amongst other things to the creation of Europeana and the EDL Foundation, activities directly leading to this proposal.

European Dimension: Contribution to Economic Development and Social Objectives

The development of Europeana, to which the project is firmly linked, works with the grain of a number of strands of the i2010 initiative aiming at harnessing the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide a favourable environment for private investment, job creation and productivity growth in Europe, while modernising public services and giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the Information Society. Given the importance of ICT for today’s economy, i2010 is a key element of the Lisbon strategy[10] for growth and employment.

The project will raise the profile of digitisation and stimulate digitisation activity in every member country. i2010: Digital Libraries recognises the potential economic benefits of digitisation. It states that ’once digitised, Europe’s cultural heritage can be a driver of networked traffic. It will be a rich source of raw material to be re-used for added-value services and products in sectors such as tourism and education. If properly preserved, the material can be used time and time again. Furthermore, digitisation efforts will have considerable spin-offs for firms developing new technologies.’

The Communication from the Commission on the Digitisation and Online Accessibility of Cultural Material and Digital Preservation of 24th August 2006 makes the following additional point about the economic value of these activities:[11]

’Beyond its fundamental cultural value, cultural material is an important resource for new added value services. The measures recommended will contribute to enhancing growth in related high value-added sectors such as tourism, education and media. High-quality digital content is a key driver for large scale industrial activities (hence the interest on the part of major search engines). Digitisation and digital preservation are knowledge-intensive activities that are likely to grow considerably in the coming years.’

Content

A full listing of the intended content for EuropeanaTravel is given in Appendix I. What follows here is an overview of the different institutions and varying types of materials which are being offered.

From UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), the content to be digitised comprises approximately 160,000 pages from nearly 300 printed books, dating from 1557 to 1860, and providing comprehensive coverage of travel writing relating to Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and Russia throughout that period. The earliest volume, Herberstein’s Rerum Moscoviticarum commentarii, was published in 1557, but the majority of the material comprises books published between 1700 and 1860. The geographical regions covered are Albania, Austria, the Balkans (also separately Croatia, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Istria and Montenegro), the Baltic countries, Finland, Germany and Bohemia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania (Wallachia and Moldavia), Russia (including Siberia), Central Asia and the Caucasus, Turkey and Ukraine. Two-thirds of the collection is written in English, but there are highly significant works in French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Polish, and Russian. Many volumes have outstanding plates of drawings and folded maps, some even in colour.

Some of the most attractive volumes date from the 17th century. They include works by Edward Brown, such as his A brief account of some travels in Hungaria, Servia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and Friuli and An account of several travels through a great part of Germany. Both have attractive engravings. Other highlights are Vermehrte newe Beschreibung der muscowitischen und persischen Reyse by Adam Olearius (1656), and Alberto Fortis’s Viaggio in Dalmazia, published in 1774. Other important authors featured in the collection include William Coxe, the Marquis de Custine, August Haxthausen, Alexander von Humboldt, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Peter Simon Pallas, Sergei Pleshcheev, Edmund Spencer and Ferdinand Wrangel.

Supplementing the book collection are archives and manuscripts, notably two volumes of photographs and sketches bequeathed to SSEES by Arthur John Evans (1851–1941), who became famous for his archaeological excavations of Knossos Palace in Crete in 1899–1907. The album of photographs and sketches of the people and scenes from Transylvania, Wallachia, Bulgaria and Hungary dates from around 1884. The second item is a photograph album of a tour by car of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina taken by Evans in 1932. Two handwritten diaries of his wife Margaret (?1854–1893) detail a journey taken between April and September 1883 with her husband to Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria. None of these items has been published before.

Complementary to the book and manuscript collections are 230 historic maps from the SSEES map collection, dating from the 16th to the late 19th century, with the majority from the 18th century. The collection comprises maps published throughout the region and in the West, covering Russia (including the Caucasus and other regions), Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. There is an exceptionally fine range of maps of Bohemia, Hungary and Transylvania, and Poland. The works of the major early cartographers, namely Mercator, Jansson, L’Isle, Moll, Senex, Blaeu, de Vaugondy, Sanson, Wit, Visscher, Homann, Hondius, Seutter and Jaillot are well represented. One highly important sheet is the Hungary Portfolio, a map by Nicander Phillippinus Fundanus, dated 1595, which is held in the British Library only as a facsimile.

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) in the Netherlands is contributing 30,000 pages of texts and drawings from manuscripts in French, Dutch and Latin. These comprise the Alba Amicorum (Books of Friendship) featuring the travel diaries of scholars, lavishly illustrated with pencil drawings and gouaches. They cover the time span from the late 16th to the early 19th centuries.

Fig. 1

Two images from a rare travel book in the UCL SSEES Library by Edward Brown, dated 1685 and entitled A brief account of some travels in divers parts of Europe: viz. Hungaria, Servia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and Friuli, through a great part of Germany and the Low-Countries … : with some observations on the gold, silver, copper, quick-silver mines, and the baths and mineral waters in those parts, as also the description of many antiquities, habits, fortifications, and remarkable places.

The Austrian National Library in Vienna is making available 600 photographic objects on the theme of expeditions in the 19th century; 1,000 glass plates and film negatives on ethnography and travel from the years 1900–1960; 30,000 film negatives from Austrian photographers and on world travel covering the work of Harry Weber and Joe Heydecker and the continents and countries of Europe, Palestine, India, and South America; 500 photographic objects on the Austrian monarchy, ethnography, as well as topographic views from the years 1860–1918; 5,000 photographic objects covering Austria 1918–1960, the Lothar Rübelt archives and the Bilarchivaustria, covering travel, views, people, rural Austria, and Alpine scenes; 155,000 pages from journals in German comprising more than 30 titles on travel, hunting and sports with a focus on Austria and the Alps; and recorded sound, comprising 200 titles on 100 shellacs with folk songs related to travelling.

The Slovak National Library has 3,400 loose sheets comprising historical and contemporary maps of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the Austro-Hungarian Empire; 15,000 geographic postcards with images of various places, mainly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire — towns, landscapes, mountains and buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries; 1,000 pages of text in Slovak, comprising travel logs from the 16th to 20th centuries; 3,000 graphical sheets and engravings of historical drawings of landscapes and city views; and 500 travel books in German, Latin and Slovak.

The University Library of Regensberg is making available materials, mainly in German, on botanical excursions and expeditions in the 19th century comprising travel guides and diaries from the Middle Ages until the 20th century — 400 books, 200 maps and 600 graphic sheets.

Target Users and Their Needs

Whilst the digital content created by this project will be used at local and national levels, the main objective of the project is to supply content to Europeana so it is Europeana’s users that are relevant here. EuropeanaTravel will therefore be guided by the user investigations conducted by EDLnet and later by Europeana v1.0 and EuropeanaConnect.[12] EuropeanaConnect, for example, will undertake a large user- and stakeholder-analysis with a harmonised approach. It will analyse the logging of the Europeana prototype and draw conclusions for future developments and personalisation, create a Europeana registry of test users, develop a catalogue of usability methods and publish a report on best practice and how users are using the Europeana service. All these activities will be geared for testing the components and services developed for, and integrated into, the Europeana portal allowing reliable conclusions and recommendations for a user-driven development of Europeana to be made.

EDLnet has already identified five user profiles for end users of the Europeana service:

  • general user;

  • school child;

  • academic user (both students and teachers);

  • expert researcher;

  • professional user, e.g. librarian, archivist, etc.

Library professional users to be served directly by EuropeanaTravel are:

  • users of the aggregation tool for research libraries produced by WP3;

  • users of the best practice examples produced by WP2.

These Europeana user groups can be characterised as follows:

  • The general user has a generic interest in culture or history. He/she is familiar with basic search functionalities, has no specific domain knowledge, is ‘google-minded’ and visits sites that have large volumes of content to offer, such as YouTube and Wikipedia.

  • The school child will make use of the service as part of educational exercises. Culture and heritage are incorporated in many school curricula, which means that Europeana could be used in a variety of educational contexts. The school child will expect the service to be easily accessible, immediately appealing, visually attractive or even playful, no jargon and easy to handle while dealing with their exercises.

  • The academic user represents the other end of the educational spectrum. He/she may have excellent domain knowledge, or aspires to achieve that. He/she will expect the information offered to be comprehensive, accurate, and representative, and easy to re-use in the context of educational assignments.

  • The expert researcher looks for specific information on a specific topic. He/she is to a certain degree skilled in using retrieval services and may make use of the advanced search button to get the most out of the system. As this group is most likely to publish the results of their research in one way or the other, this group includes users who are prepared to buy something or travel to visit the contributing institutions.

  • The professional user is most likely a staff member of a cultural heritage organisation. He/she is skilled in using information systems, but with a different perspective from expert researchers. He/she may be interested in details as well as very generic information, for instance for improving information services in their own institutions.

Sustainability

The sustainability of the Europeana service over time is ensured by the activity of the EDL Foundation. This project contributes in specific ways. At a strategic level, the closer working relationship resulting from this project between CENL and LIBER member libraries will make a significant contribution to the human interoperability essential for the continuing success of Europeana and of the EDL Foundation.

Two aspects of the work of this project need to be sustained over time:

  • The digitised content needs to continue to be made available to users.

  • More LIBER content, whose digitisation is not funded by this project, needs to continue to be delivered to Europeana via the LIBER closed access aggregator or by other means.

The libraries in this proposal are all publicly funded and there is good reason to accept that they will be able to continue to make the digitised content available. They are all committed to this.

Table 3

Profile of suggested EuropeanaTravel users.

Target user description Needs and how they are addressed by EuropeanaTravel Involvement & Role Country coverage
General user He/she is mostly looking for reading material and needs to feel informed and entertained, using Europeana for education. He/she needs an interesting interface, easy navigation in its native language to be able to produce satisfying results and interesting added-value-services. The general user is familiar with basic functionalities, has no specific domain knowledge, is “google-minded” and visits sites such as YouTube and Wikipedia. At first all countries covered by the proposal. Country coverage will expand as libraries continue to digitise material and make it available and as more research libraries contribute content via the LIBER aggregator.
School children He/she is mostly looking for reading material and elements to use for homework and reports. They need an interface in their native language to be able to produce satisfying results. The school child is socialised in Web2.0 services and versatile in using the web. He/she is used to finding information resources online, but needs help to make the content accessible and interesting. See above
Academic user He/she is mostly looking for reading material and research material/files to use for papers, essays and reports. Moreover he/she expects scientific materials to be made available and to be specifically marked. A trusted source is important to this user. The academic user looks for specific information on a specific topic and — if necessary — makes use of the advanced search button. Both expert academic users/researchers as well as professional users fit this profile. See above
Expert Researchers This group of users is prepared to buy something or pay for exceptional services, such as Delivery on Demand. A trusted source is important to this user. The researcher is looking for specific information on a specific topic and — if necessary — makes use of the advanced search button. Both expert (academic) researchers as well as professional users fit this profile. See above
Professional users; e.g. librarian, archivist etc. The Professional user (PU) needs combined search possibilities and innovative display techniques while maintaining speedy queries. A time-space display would give access to new knowledge-clusters and allow for collaborative efforts. Moreover PUs want to be able to add information to the portal and possibly annotate literature. A trusted source is important to this user. The PU is well familiarized with information retrieval and navigation in the WWW. See above
Library professionals Library professional users to be served directly by EuropeanaTravel need:
• the aggregation tool for research libraries
• best practice digitisation examples
They will be involved and consulted through membership of the project and through the wider professional networks of CENL and LIBER and through links with other relevant projects such as IMPACT.[13] Whole of Europe

Finding a sustainable solution to funding the LIBER aggregator is a task in the relevant work package. Two main options seem feasible at the time of writing:

  • a portal funded by subscription of LIBER members;

  • a joint solution with other stakeholders such as The European Library (TEL).

The best solution under the circumstances pertaining at the relevant time will be chosen. As far as possible a solution will be found covering all LIBER members which need it and proposing how the metadata for digitised materials from all research libraries (whether LIBER members or not) in all Member States could be aggregated, some through national portals, some through LIBER and so on, reflecting the differing possibilities in the Member States.

CENL members already have a sustainable solution to the question of delivering content to Europeana. They do so through The European Library which is continuing to develop strongly and is sustained by the subscriptions of its members.

There is also the issue of the sustainable long-term usability of the newly digitised material. By using the most accepted current standards and through its quality plans, the project will ensure as far as possible that the material is usable long term or can keep up with technological developments. The project will build on the learning achieved by other relevant projects including PLANETS.[14]

Overview of Work and Roles

EuropeanaTravel is a simple and straightforward project where the majority of the resources are channelled into digitisation. It has the following five work packages:

  1. planning digitisation;

  2. carrying out digitisation;

  3. making LIBER partners’ digitised material available to Europeana;

  4. dissemination;

  5. co-ordination and management.

Work packages 1–3 deal with digitising and making available partners’ content on travel and tourism. Work package 3 also tackles the major wider strategic issue of how research libraries’ material could be aggregated to comply with Europeana’s planned model of dealing only or mainly with aggregators and not with individual institutions. Work packages 4 and 5 provide effective dissemination and management solutions in ways that have proved their worth in other projects such as EDLproject and TELplus.

Work package 1. Planning digitisation

This work package provides an opportunity for partners to learn from each other and from other related projects and to take stock of the situation in their own institution and in Europeana itself before confirming and finalising their digitisation plans. The digitisation process will then begin using agreed methods and standards that provide the best value for money to the project. This work package results in clear and up-to-date plans which are the basis for work package 2. Included in this work package is also a survey of plans and work on digital preservation by all LIBER libraries to form a basis for their possible future collaboration in this important policy area.

Work package 2. Carrying out digitisation

Each partner implements its plan. Progress is monitored on a quarterly basis. The planned output of the digitisation process will be digital files fit for the intended purpose including some or all of the following as determined by work package 1:

  • a high resolution digital master;

  • medium resolution images for publication and public access;

  • thumbnails, for content preview on the web.

Different types of documents may require different approaches, e.g., in the case of some maps high-resolution digital masters will be published in the original resolution, either through an image server or zoomify-like tiles.

The relevant metadata will be associated with each digital object:

  • Dublin Core-compliant metadata as necessary for the aggregator, as agreed for work package 3;

  • descriptive metadata as agreed in work package 1;

  • administrative metadata as agreed in work package 1;

  • structural metadata, describing the logical or physical relationships between the parts of a compound object, as agreed in work package 1

The metadata schemata, the thesauri and controlled terminologies will be selected taking into account relevant international standards. The digital content produced will be made available to Europeana.

In order to fulfil these requirements, each institution will:

  • carry out the digitisation, including metadata creation and capture;

  • make available the resources via an OAI-PMH compliant repository;

  • describe each digital collection, according to standards set in work package 1

As far as OCRing is concerned, the EuropeanaTravel project is very much aware of the issues involved. It has partners in common with both the TELplus[15] project and the IMPACT flagship project[16] which address OCRing in different ways, so the partners are aware of the issues. Within EuropeanaTravel, as many texts as possible will be OCRed according to partners’ specific plans to be drawn up in WP1. EuropeanaTravel will keep in formal contact with the IMPACT project and the developments there.

Quality control will be a key activity carried out on two levels:

  • in-house control mechanism of partner organisations;

  • external quality control mechanism carried out by National and University Library of Slovenia (NUK) as work package leader.

This double control mechanism will guarantee that the digital material meets the standards and guidelines which have been agreed in WP1. The leaders of work packages 1 and 2 will collaborate closely to secure the best outcome.

A piloting mechanism will be set up for LIBER content providers to allow partners to run through the complete process before actually starting the digitisation process. This will ensure that quality standards are met and allow the fine tuning of digitisation plans in the light of practical experience.

Digitisation is seen as a process which comprises not only metadata capture, but also metadata creation, enrichment, packaging and delivery. The processes will be monitored on a quarterly basis to allow for eventual corrective actions at an early stage.

As well as doing digitisation to a high and consistent standard, work package 2 will produce best practice documentation covering handling the material, metadata capture, metadata generation, enrichment, workflow management etc. so that other cultural institutions will have the chance to benefit.

Because the main aim of the digitisation activity is to make the material available through Europeana, liaison with Europeana is a key task and will be led from start to finish by the EDL Foundation.

Work package 3. Making LIBER partners’ digitised material available to Europeana

Europeana’s planned model is to deal only or mainly with aggregators and not directly with individual institutions for the aggregation of metadata. In some countries, such as Norway, Sweden or the Slovak Republic, the plan is that a national portal will be created for the use of all institutions. In other countries there will be sectoral portals. The purpose of this work package is to provide an aggregator solution applicable to all Member States that need it for research libraries that do not have an alternative aggregator solution available. This work package will create an actual working closed access aggregation service which will be used by the LIBER content partners in this project to deliver their content to Europeana. The service will be set up to be sustainably scaled up and run on a permanent basis for research libraries which need it. A suitable tool will be used to create the aggregator.

Table 4

Aggregator services for EuropeanaTravel.

 
Work package 4. Dissemination

Dissemination is planned on a small but appropriate scale. EuropeanaTravel will target its own members, CENL and LIBER libraries and a professional audience interested in digital delivery and Europeana. EuropeanaTravel will have only limited appeal for the general public whose interest needs to be directed rather to the public services of The European Library and Europeana. Besides carrying out its own dissemination agenda, EuropeanaTravel will support the efforts of the EDL Foundation[17] and work collaboratively with them to use common tools and methods to publicise Europeana itself. Europeana will use its website,[18] including a news section, press releases, articles and conference papers to ensure effective dissemination.

Work package 5. Co-ordination and management

The partners who have successfully delivered many other projects using these same methods have devised a structure which is very solid yet flexible enough to deal with changes of circumstances. The management team and many of the partners have worked together before and this reduces risk.

Budget

The eContentplus 2008 Work Programme envisaged that the EU would fund 50% of all eligible costs in the project. The total cost of the project was €2.8 million, of which €1.4 million was won from the Commission and the remainder from partner contributions. The total budget was shared amongst nineteen EuropeanaTravel partners.

Conclusion and Next Steps

In my earlier article in LIBER Quarterly[19] I quoted a finding from a 2006 Digitisation Policy Workshop:

‘… Libraries have been moving from smaller digitization projects to mass digitization projects that will eventually make available whole collections, including millions of books. Funding agencies are supporting research and demonstration projects that aid libraries and cultural heritage institutions in better understanding digitization processes … All of this has taken place without a coherent body of policy to guide decision making …’ (Digitization Policy Workshop, Chicago, April 2006[20])

The EuropeanaTravel project is LIBER’s first attempt to address the issues which this workshop has raised. The project is a pan-European project which moves digitisation activity onto an international footing in Europe. Supported by the LIBER Board, the project is an attempt to bring Europe’s national and research libraries together to work in collaboration to support the European researcher, teacher and learner and the European citizen.

Using the Europeana portal as a tool for collaboration, the digitised outputs will serve all European users with access to the Internet and help to raise the profile of LIBER libraries in a global information environment.

In LIBER’s new strategy document, which was discussed at the LIBER Annual General Assembly at its Toulouse Conference in June/July 2009,[21] LIBER is proposing a completely new organisational structure to take forward its strategic plan. Should the strategy be agreed, one of the new steering committees (which replace the old divisional structure) will be devoted to digitisation and resource discovery. It is this steering committee which will, it is hoped, build on the foundations which the EuropeanaTravel project has laid and take forward LIBER’s agenda for pan-European digitisation activity.

LIBER also has annual meetings with members of the Digital Libraries Team of the EU’s Information Society and Media directorate to exchange information and to discuss topics of current interest. The 2009 meeting took place in Luxembourg on 24 April. The LIBER officers who attended the meeting were Dr Paul Ayris, Vice-President of LIBER, and Wouter Schallier, Executive Director of LIBER. One of the four main topics which LIBER members wished to be discussed at this meeting was digitisation. The attenders from the EU Directorate stressed that it was the responsibility of individual university libraries and Member States to fund digitisation activity. LIBER pointed to successful national programmes such as those run by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) in the UK as an example of this. LIBER also stressed, however, that partnership funding in EU funding streams was particularly valuable as a tool for universities to look for partnership funding from their own institutions to take digitisation activity forward. In areas such as the arts and humanities, which do not attract the level of funding of science, technology and medicine, European funding streams were particularly important in pressing ahead with strategies for digital humanities.

The EuropeanaTravel project is the first of several EU bids which LIBER intends to make to EU funding sources on behalf of its members. Identifying best practice, the process and outputs of the project will support LIBER members in taking digitisation activity forward. Supported by the LIBER Board and the new LIBER Steering Committee on Digitisation and Resource Discovery, LIBER will attempt to provide a co-ordinated approach to the large-scale digitisation of European scholarly content held in the libraries of LIBER members, using Europeana as the discovery space where the European user can unlock the treasures which LIBER members will provide.

Appendix 1.

Quantity and Quality of the Content.

Provider Type Quantity & Definition Format & Quality IPR Current Use Existing Metadata Language Additional comments
National Library of Estonia (RR) Image 16,000 images of 8,000 double-sided postcards JPEG, colour public domain Not available for public access at the time, because is not described None; after digitisation Dublin Core Estonian Half-closed archive collection of historical postcards, comprising a tour of Estonian cities in the 19th and 20th century
National Library of Finland (UH.NLF) Text, Images and Maps 10,000 pages of books and book attachments Master files: JPEG 2000 Access copies: JPEG, PNG, 300–400 dpi public domain On site, in high demand by researchers and users Object level metadata: MODS Collection level: MICHAEL Collection Description Schema, Structural Metadata METS Swedish, Latin, French, German, English, Dutch First travel tales from Finland from 17th to 19th centuries. Mainly books with various pictures and maps attached to them.
National Library of Latvia (LNB) Image 200 map sheets JPEG, 300–400 dpi, colour/greyscale public domain On site by students, researchers and others. 650 registered users in a year AACR2, Dublin Core based; available in Latvian and English Latvian, German, Russian Maps from the cartographic collection of the library covering the period from 16th to 21st centuries.
LNB Text 5,000 pages JPEG, 300 dpi public domain Students, researchers and others Dublin Core based; available in Latvian and English Latvian Travel diaries and journals to support cartographic material
National Library of Poland (NLP) Text at least 2,000 books JPEG, 300 dpi Could be OCRed public domain accessible only in traditional form Currently MARC21, in digital library Dublin Core Polish Travel diaries, tourist guides, albums
NLP Text at least 200 books JPEG, 300 dpi public domain accessible only in traditional form As above French Travel diaries, tourist guides, albums
NLP Text at least 150 books JPEG, 300 dpi public domain accessible only in traditional form As above German Travel diaries, tourist guides, albums
NLP Text at least 150 books JPEG, 300 dpi public domain accessible only in traditional form As above English Travel diaries, tourist guides, albums
NLP Text at least 30 early printed books JPEG, 300 dpi OCR impossible public domain accessible only in traditional form As above Polish, Latin, German, French, English22 Travel diaries
NLP Image ca. 6,000 documents JPEG, 300 dpi public domain ca. 1,000 images are accessible now in the Polona National Digital Library — it has daily ca. 5,000 users MARC21 in library catalogue, Dublin Core in digital library not applicable23 Postcards, photos, drawings
NLP Text/Image at least 80 documents JPEG, 300 dpi public domain accessible only in traditional form Currently MARC21, in digital library Dublin Core Polish Advertisements, flyers, other non-book materials
Austrian National Library (ONB) Image 600 photographic objects JPEG, 4000*6000 pixels public domain Researchers, publishers Archival descriptions, Dublin Core qualified German Expeditions in the 19th century
ONB Image ca. 1,000 glass plates and film negatives JPEG, 4000*6000 pixels public domain As above As above German Ethnography and travel from years 1900–1960.
ONB Image, Text 30,000 film negatives JPEG, 4000*6000 pixels public domain As above As above German Austrian photographers, World Travel — Harry Weber and Joe Heydecker; Europe, Palestine, India, South America, etc.
ONB Image ca. 500 photographic objects JPEG, 4000*6000 pixels public domain As above As above German Austrian monarchy, ethnography, as well as topographic views from years 1860–1918.
ONB Image 5,000 photographic objects JPEG, 4000*6000 pixels public domain As above As above German, English Austria 1918–1960. Lothar Rübelt archives Bilarchivaustria: Travel, Vues, People, Rural Austria, Alpine Scenes
ONB Text ca. 155,000 pages of journals TIFF, 300 ppi, colour/greyscale public domain As above None Dublin Core metadata to be created in process of digitisation German More than 30 titles of travel, hunting and sports journals with a focus on Austria and the Alps.
ONB Sound 200 titles on 100 shellacs BWF, 96KHz, 24 bit public domain Musicians, researchers MAB, Dublin Core qualified German Folk songs related to travelling.
Slovak National Library (SNK) Image 3,400 loose sheets TIFF, JPEG, 600 dpi, 24 bit public domain, ~10% licensed Available for 15,000 registered users Partially MARC21/AACR2 Slovak, Latin, Hungarian, German Historical and contemporary maps of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
SNK Image 15,000 geographic postcards TIFF, JPEG, 600 dpi, 24 bit public domain, ~10% licensed Available for 15,000 registered users Partially MARC21/AACR2 Slovak, Hungarian Images of various places, mainly in Austro-Hungarian Empire. Towns, landscapes, mountains and buildings of 19th and 20th centuries.
SNK Text 1,000 pages PDF public domain Limited use by researchers Structured text (biographic entries) Slovak Travel logs from 16th to 20th centuries.
SNK Image 300 graphical sheets and engravings JPEG public domain Available for 15,000 registered users MARC21/AACR2 Slovak, Latin, Hungarian Historical drawings of landscapes and city views.
SNK Text, Image 500 books TIFF, JPEG, 600 dpi, 24 bit PDF public domain Limited use by researchers Partially MARC21/AACR2 German, Latin, Slovak Travel books
National and University Library of Slovenia (NUK) Text 700 books PDF, HTML, access files 71–120 dpi; archive 300–600 dpi public domain Registered users of the library. Not for lending, therefore also without official user statistics. None Slovenian, German, English, Latin, Italian A collection of historical travel logs, tourist guides and ethnographic descriptions of European countries. Relatively unknown to general public. Covers the time period from 16th to 19th centuries.
NUK image 100 historical vedutas and 300 images (photographs, postcards, etc) JPEG, access files 71–120 dpi; archive 300–600 dpi public domain As above None None A collection of vedutes from 17th to 19th centuries depicting the development of settlements in Slovenia
NUK Map 50 historical maps JPEG, access files 71–120 dpi; archive 300–600 dpi public domain As above None German Historical maps of Slovenian territory from 17th to 19th centuries.
University College London (UCL) Text 199 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain Registered users of the library (53,955) MARC21 English Books from 1557 to 1860 with a focus on travels in Eastern and Central Europe, incl. Russia.
UCL Text 38 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 French As above
UCL Text 17 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi Public domain As above MARC21 German As above
UCL Text 9 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 Hungarian As above
UCL Text 6 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 Italian As above
UCL Text 9 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 Latin As above
UCL Text 2 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 Polish As above
UCL Text 7 books JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21 Russian As above
UCL Maps 207 maps JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi public domain As above MARC21   Maps of Central and Eastern Europe from 15th to 19th centuries, supporting the fore-mentioned travel books
UCL Text, Image 2 volumes of manuscripts with photographs and sketches JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi all rights owned by UCL As above EAD English Travel logs of world-famous archaeologist Arthur Evans, recording his trips to South-Eastern Europe in the 19th century.
UCL Text 2 volumes of mss diaries JPEG2000 Colour/greyscale 300–400 dpi all rights owned by UCL As above EAD English Diaries of Arthur Evans’ wife Margaret
National Library of Wales (NLW) Image 30,000 pages from 500 albums and sketchbooks Master files: TIFF, 400 dpi, colour control included

Access files: JPEG, PNG, 750 pixels across longest edge.

Thumbnail images: 150 pixels along longest edge.

Zoomify PDF files: derived from master files for Adobe Flash web -based image zooming.
public domain Available on site for all 16,000 patrons of the library None

To be created both on collection and object level in MARC21, easily mapped to Dublin Core

Structural metadata to be stored in METS
None Drawings of landscapes in Wales in wash, watercolour, ink, gouache, pencil and pen.
Contains both works of famous artists as well as sketches made by wealthy travellers.
Covers the time period from 18th to 20th centuries.
Lund University Library (LUB) Image 3,000 photos TIFF public domain Research None Swedish Marten Sjöbeck’s collection of landscape photos from southern Sweden in the years 1920–1960
National Library of the Netherlands (KB) Image 30,000 pages of texts and drawings from manuscripts JPEG public domain 13,000 registered users; av. 20 items annually on loan in exhibitions all over the world 15,000 records of very high quality: as manuscript cannot be OCR-ed, the proper names of all contributors are included in the metadata, in a standardised form to bridge language problems. Format: Dublin Core Extended, stored in XML. French, Dutch, Latin Alba Amicorum (Books of Friendship) collection featuring the travel diaries of scholars, lavishly illustrated with pencil drawings and gouaches. Covers the time span from the late 16th to the early 19th centuries.
University Library of Regensburg (UREG) Text 400 books 2-layer PDF (image over text), 300 dpi, 24 bit colour public domain 30,000 registered library users bibliographic metadata in MAB2 format German (mainly) Botanical excursions and expeditions in the 19th century; Travel guides and diaries from the Middle Ages until the 20th century
UREG Image 200 maps TIFF, 400 dpi, 24 bit colour public domain As above As above German (mainly) As above
UREG Image 600 graphic sheets TIFF, 400 dpi, 24 bit colour public domain As above As above German (mainly) As above
Moravian Library in Brno (MZK) Image ca. 15,000 images JPEG 2000, colour, 600 dpi public domain The collection items can be studied in an old prints and manuscript reading room. Current users are registered users of the library (28,500). MARC21, in Czech language. Maps metadata is brief but includes approximate geographic bounding box co-ordinates but no precise geo-referencing metadata. German (in some cases French, Latin and other languages, depending on map origin). Map collection of B.P. Moll — one of the largest baroque map collections in central Europe — contains maps and vedute of Holy Roman Empire and hereditary Habsburg lands. Includes mostly printed but also manuscript maps from 16th to 18th centuries.
MZK Text ca. 29,370 manuscript pages JPEG, colour, 300-400 dpi public domain As above None German Unique original 20 volume baroque handwritten catalogue of Moll’s map collection, describing the maps and vedute as well as places depicted on them and complemented by drawings.
MZK Image ca. 1,400 images of vedutes JPEG or JPEG2000 (depending on the size of the original), colour, 600 dpi public domain As above MARC21, in Czech language German, some inscriptions in Czech This collection of views of Southern Moravia contains numerous 17th– 19th century vedute (old photographs, lithographs and engravings).
MZK Text, Image ca. 2,000 pages from bound atlases JPEG, 300 dpi (text pages) and JPEG 2000, 600 dpi (maps) public domain As above MARC21. in Czech language German (in some cases French, Latin and other languages). 17th–18th century atlas collection. Most of the atlases cover Europe but include also world maps.
MZK Text ca. 1,700 manuscript pages JPEG, colour, 300 dpi public domain As above MARC21 and TEI/MASTER, both in Czech language German 5 travel-related 17th century manuscripts e.g. diary with messages of moving Swedish army in Moravia.
University of Innsbruck (UIBK) Text 1–2 journals, app. 50,000 pages b/w: TIFFG4; colour/greyscale: JPEG, 300 dpi, OCR, PDF, METS public domain or with permission of right holders   None German Journals covering travel in the Alps. Time period 1850–2008.
UIBK Text 200–300 books, app. 100,000 pages b/w: TIFFG4; colour/greyscale: JPEG, 300 dpi, OCR, PDF, METS public domain or with permission of right holders   partially Dublin Core German, English, Italian Classical descriptions of the Alps from the point of view of culture, history, geography and tourism. Time period 1500–2008.
UIBK Image, Text Some hundreds of postcards, posters, tourist maps, pictures and photos b/w: TIFFG4; colour/greyscale: JPEG, 300 dpi, METS public domain or with permission of right holders   None German Illustrations to the ‘anonymous’ history of tourism in the Alps. Time period 1850–2008.
UIBK Text/ Image Some dozens of guest books from rescue huts and summit books b/w: TIFFG4; colour/greyscale: JPEG, 300 dpi, METS public domain or with permission of right holders   None German, English, Italian Quantity depends strongly on willingness of institutions to contribute and cannot be guaranteed.
University and National Library of Debrecen (DE) Text 400 books 46,000 pages JPEG, PDF public domain The estimated number of users for digital collections is about 30,000 Approx. 10 % described in the online catalogue Hungarian, Latin, German, Russian Travel books compiled by Hungarians abroad and foreigners in Hungary, including Greek Catholic pilgrims. From the 17th to 19th centuries.
DE Text 10,000 pages of periodicals JPEG, PDF public domain As above None Hungarian Local periodicals covering regional tourism, city culture and travelling habits in general.
DE Image 200 maps JPEG, PDF public domain As above None Hungarian, Latin, German Military, school and geological maps from the 18th to 20th centuries.
DE Image 2,000 postcards JPEG, PDF public domain As above None Hungarian Tourist attractions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with a special focus on popular springs and spas of Hungary.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Text, Image ca. 2,250 pages of journals   under license, with permission of right holders Irish and foreign researchers at academic and postgraduate level None English Travel journals from the 18–19th centuries covering trips to continental Europe
TCD Image 133 glass slides   under licence, with permission of right holders As above No public access until digitised None English Items from Major R.W.G. Hingston’s collection from his travels in Asia and Africa dealing with local fauna, history and archaeology.
TCD Image 100 photographic negatives   under licence, with permission of right holders As above No public access until digitised None English As above
Notes

The EuropeanaTravel website is at http://www.europeanatravel.eu/.

See [note 13].

See [note 6].

It is difficult to define, at this stage of the project, how many books in particular languages EuropeanaTravel will include.

Some postcards have subtitles in different languages (Polish, German, French, Russian, etc.).







This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0  License.

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