Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update on the European digital library

Launch of European digital library "on track", a press release from the European Commission, November 29, 2007.  Excerpt:

On 27th November, a high level group on digital libraries met Commission officials in Brussels to discuss progress towards launching the European digital library. A European digital library foundation has recently been created. This formalises the agreement of European archives, museums, audiovisual archives and libraries to work together and to provide a common access point to Europe's cultural heritage online.

“Europe's citizens should all be able to enjoy our rich cultural heritage. This foundation is a significant step towards making that ambition come true," commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "It shows the commitment of Europe's cultural institutions to work together and make their collections available and searchable to the wide public through a common and multilingual access point online." ...

Europe's cultural institutions plan to launch a prototype of the European digital library in November 2008....

For a steady growth of the European digital library, two key issues need to be tackled: the financing of digitisation and solutions for making copyrighted works searchable through the European digital library. In its meeting the high level group discussed:

  • new ways for funding digitisation through public private partnerships;
  • solutions for mass-digitisation of out of print works and orphan works (for which it is very difficult to locate the rightholders). By June next year the group should find an agreement on dealing with orphan works (including criteria for searching for rightholders);
  • the issue of access to and preservation of scientific information (see IP/07/190). Scientific publishers, libraries and scientists confirmed their intention to work together in an experiment with open access to scientific publications after an embargo period.