On 19 and 20 May, the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) visited the Digitisation Days which were held at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid. The conference was supported by the European Commission, and organised by the Support Action Centre of Competence in Digitisation (Succeed) project and the IMPACT Centre of Competence (IMPACT CoC) with the cooperation of Biblioteca Nacional de España.
For the National Library, being a collection holder, the Succeed awards ceremony was one of the highlights of the conference, because it showed the application of technology to actual collections. The Succeed awards aim to recognise successful digitisation programmes in the field of historical texts, especially those using the latest technology.
Two prizes went to the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, while two Commendations of Merit were awarded to the London Metropolitan Archives/ University College London and to Tecnilógica.
In her role of member of the IMPACT CoC executive board, the KB’s Head of Research, Hildelies Balk, took part in the ceremony and awarded the Commendation of Merit to the London Metropolitan Archives/ University College London for their Great Parchment Book project. You will find a short video about the project here.
Moreover, the KB hosted an interesting and fruitful Round table workshop on the future of research and funding in digitisation and the possible roles of Centres of Competence on 20 May. Some 30 librarians and researchers joined this workshop, and discussed the below topics:
- What research is needed to further the development of the Digital Library?
- How can Centres of Competence assist your research or development?
- In digitisation, are we ready to move the focus from quantity to quality?
- What enrichments, e.g. in Named Entity Recognition, Linked Data services, or crowdsourcing for OCR correction, would be most beneficial for digitisation?
- What’s your take on Labs and Virtual Research Environments?
- What would you like to do in these types of research settings?
- What do you expect to get out of them?
The preliminary outcomes of the workshop show that the main goal for institutions is to give users unrestricted access to data. During the workshop, the participants discussed the many layered aspects of these three topics, i.e. ‘users’, ‘access’, and ‘data’. Moreover, the participants gave their view on the following questions in relation to these topics:
- What stops us from making progress?
- What helps us to make progress?
- And what role could CoCs play in this?
The outcomes of the workshop have been documented and will be used as a starting point for the roadmap to further development of digitisation and the digital library, which will be produced within the Succeed project. This roadmap will serve to support the European Commission in preparing the 2014–2020 Work Programme for Research and Innovation.