Author: Silvia Ponzoda
This post is a summary. The original article is available at:

The Succeed project has recently been rated ‘Excellent ‘ by the European Commission. The final evaluation of the Succeed project took place on19th of February 2015, at the University of Alicante, during a meeting of the committee of experts appointed by the European Commission (EC) with the Succeed consortium members. The meeting was chaired by Cristina Maier, Succeed Project Officer from the European Commission.
Succeed has been funded by the European Union to promote the take up and validation of research results in mass digitisation, with a focus on textual content. For a description of the project and the consortium, see our earlier post Succeed project launched.

The outputs produced by Succeed during the project life span (January 2013-December 2014) are listed below.

Impact Interoperable Platform

Succeed further improved the Impact Interoperable Platform which allows users to test and combine a number of digitisation tools. The tools are made available as web services by a number of different providers, allowing the user to try them out online without having to install any of these tools locally. During the Succeed project, 20 new tools were integrated. The platform currently supports the online testing of 40 tools. Moreover, the option to execute workflows with the Taverna workflow Management System and MyExperiment has been added to the demonstration platform so that the user can define multistage processes (even processes involving input from multiple sub-processes) when several tools operate on the input. The interoperable platform has been integrated into the Impact Centre of Competence website to reinforce sustainability. The current version of the platform provides access to the open data-sets created by the Impact project – 250,000 high-resolution images and 30,000 ground truth files – with the recent addition of a specific viewer which allows the complete collection to be navigated.

Validation and take-up of tools

An overview with nearly 260 useful tools and resources for text digitisation has been compiled and published online. This online catalogue supports the filtering of tools and resources by their type and target language.

As part of the Succeed project, over 20 tools in this catalogue have been tested for validation and take-up in the productive environments of 13 libraries in several European countries. The National Library of the Netherlands also participated.

The tools included in this take-up programme supported a variety of workflows, including, among others, image processing and enhancement; image segmentation and layout analysis; text processing operations (i.e. named entity recognition); and evaluation of the output.

At the end of the project, 11 tools were successfully integrated into libraries’ productive environments. The National Library of the Netherlands implemented the Lexicon service which was developed by INL, the Institute for Dutch Lexicology, into the website Delpher. See also our previous blog post on Take-up of tools within the Succeed project.

Recommendations for digitisation projects

Succeed published two sets of recommendations for digitisation projects: the first one for metadata and data formats used in text digitisation and a second one for common licensing schemes for tools and resources.

The first report builds on existing recommendations and guidelines for metadata and data formats as well as ongoing initiatives. The analysis covers long-term preservation, online delivery, as well as advanced and supporting technologies.

The second report compiles existing licensing schemes and analyses their current usage by consulting a number of organisations, the inventory of tools for digitisation created by Succeed –containing more than 200 items–, and also popular software repositories such as SourceForge and GitHub.

Succeed events

The organisation of several events served to disseminate the latest technology for the digitisation of text. The events organized by Succeed are listed below.

  • The Succeed Developers’ Workshops promoted the involvement of the community of programmers and developers in the further development of tools and services for digitisation. The First Developers’ Workshop took place at the National Library of the Netherlands on September 19-20, 2013. The Second Developers’ Workshop took place at the Universidad de Alicante on April 10-11, 2014.
  • The Succeed tutorial State-of-the-art Tools for Text Digitisation was held in Valleta (Malta), September 22, 2013, in the framework of the TPDL 2013 conference. The tutorial aimed to present the latest technology for image enhancement, OCR, post-correction, logical structure analysis, lexicon building, deployment and enrichment. It gathered attendees from 15 cultural heritage institutions.
  • The Succeed Workshop on interoperability of digitisation platforms took place at the National Library of the Netherlands (October 2, 2014). Nineteen researchers, librarians, and computer scientists from several European countries participated in the workshop.
  • The Digitisation Days brought together 182 participants from complementary communities: researchers, companies and practitioners. The event took place on May 19-20, 2014 in Madrid. Also see our earlier blog post on this topic.
  • The principal results of the project were presented at the Succeed final conference (November 28, 2014). The event took place in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and brought together nearly 70 experts in the field of digitisation and cultural heritage. 

Succeed awards

Two editions of the Succeed awards have been organised with the objective of evaluating state-of-the-art technology, addressing particular stages of the digitisation workflow like segmentation and recognition.

The first Succeed awards distinguished the best initiatives in the application of advanced technology for the digitisation of historical texts. 18 submissions were judged by Succeed’s Expert Advisory Board. The following institutions were presented with awards during the Digitisation Days in Madrid:
• Hill Museum and Manuscript Library.
• Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance.
• Tecnilógica (Commendation of Merit).
• London Metropolitan Archives – University College London (Commendation of Merit).

The second edition recognised the best performance in the validation and take-up of digitisation tools promoted by Succeed. Among the 9 external participants, the following libraries received awards during Succeed’s final conference in Paris:
• Library of KU Leuven.
• National Library of Finland (Commendation of Merit).
• University Library of Wroclaw (Commendation of Merit).

Map of the European digitisation landscape

A map of the European digitisation landscape, compiling over 380 active projects, centres of competence, companies, public institutions and networks. An online search platform, developed by Succeed, allows for a highly usable access to the information therein. A registration gateway allows for personalised access and for maintenance of the information by the community.

Roadmap for sustainable centres of competence

A Roadmap for sustainable centres of competence to support digital libraries which provides insight into the capacity to support the evolution of European digital libraries through centres of competence. After investigating the main technical, capacity-related and economic challenges, some actions are proposed to advance the state-of-the-art as regards mass digitisation of cultural heritage in Europe in three respects: capacity building, advance of technology and sustainability.