CTI Textual Studies
Q & A

I n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y

Q I am interested in digital libraries, particularly regarding the preservation of primary sources - can you supply me with some starting points?

A Probably one of the most significant projects in this area is the British Library's Electronic Beowulf Project which has digitized (at high resolution) the Beowulf manuscript as part of its Intiatives for Access Programme. I would recommend that you consult the appropriate page at http://www.bl.uk/ (go to Digital Library, and follow the link to Beowulf) and also Kevin Kiernan's page at http://www.uky.edu/~kiernan/welcome.html. See the other BL projects at http://www.bl.uk/.

Just in case you are not aware of it, you should also check the Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) at http://ukoln.bath.ac.uk/elib/. Many ELib activities are reported in Ariadne, a newsletter available in print as well as online: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/.

On digital libraries in the US see the D-Lib online magazine mirrored at http://mirrored.ukoln.ac.uk/lis-journals/dlib/dlib/dlib.html. It has a good set of links to clearing houses of digital libraries (http://mirrored.ukoln.ac.uk/lis-journals/dlib/dlib/reference.html).

Also in the US it is probably worth having a look at the Council on Library and Information Resources which has an extensive set of online reports on digital libraries (http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/cpa/).

The National Library of Australia has a number of papers and further information on its digitization policy at http://www.nla.gov.au/nlamndx.html. Of particular note are the various national and international projects with which the NLA is involved (especially PADI). More information on these can be found at: http://www.nla.gov.au/niac.html.

For the digitization of art and images in particular see the Getty Information Institute at http://www.gii.getty.edu/gii/.

On the commercial front IBM has a digital libraries programme (http://www.software.ibm.com/is/dig-lib/) which includes the digitization of the Vatican Library and the Wittenberg Lutherhalle Museum.

You may also find other sources of information and current digitization policies at the Virtual Libraries section of the Virtual Museum Site (http://www.icom.org/vlmp/).

The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) serves both as a repository for digital scholarly resources and an advisory service on issues of preservation and access, for British academics. Its publications on Managing Digital Collections are particularly useful, and are available from: http://ahds.ac.uk/manage/manintro.html.

A new project underway at Oxford University is exploring the Future of Oxford's Digital Collections. Although targetted at local resources, you may find the reports released through the project useful and informative. These can be obtained from: http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/scoping/.

Project Gutenberg is a digital library that aims to make literary works available in the most widely accessible format - plain ASCII text. This approach inevitably preserves only part of the information potentially available for any given primary source. The site is nevertheless worth investigating: http://promo.net/pg/history.html.

(MF, FC)

Q & A

Email CTI Textual Studies

HTML Author: Sarah Porter, Frances Condron
Document created: 27 May 1997
Document last modified:30 March 1999

The URL of this document is http://info.ox.ac.uk/ctitext/enquiry/gen05.html