Digitizing at the National Library
The National Library of Norway is digitizing its entire collection.
The Norwegian Legal Deposit Act requires that all published content, in all media, be deposited with the National Library of Norway. The collection is also being expanded through purchases and gifts. The digital collection contains material dating from the Middle Ages up to the current day.
In parallel with digitizing of analogue material, the National Library of Norway is working to expand the scope of publications covered by legal digital deposit legislation. The Library wishes to receive the digital source of the publication and in this way expand collection’s digital content. The digitizing programme started in 2006. It is estimated that it will take 20–30 years for the entire collection to be digitized.
The National Library of Norway has several production lines which handle different types of material. Each day several terabytes of data flow though these lines. The material that is digitalised is subject to the following production processes:
- Structure analysis
Scanning/digitalisation: The National Library of Norway has several types of scanners and digitizing tools, including document scanners, leaf scanners and automatic leaf scanners. These are used to digitize paper materials such as books, newspapers, photographs etc. We also have equipment for digitizing films, videos and sound.
Structure analysis: Once material that contains text has been digitalised it is often sent for Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This process involves computers “translating” pictures to text. This allows the user to search in the entire text, not just in the metadata. Analyses are also carried out to identify which parts of the text are headers, sections and similar.
Post-processing: This involves automatic validation and checking of files, generation of metadata, entering into databases, making files available for distribution and archiving in our digital archives. Printed material is stored in jpeg2000 or tiff. Radio material is stored as wav. For moving pictures we have several types of storage formats, including mpeg4 H264.
- Manuscripts, handwritten documents, notes
- Reports to the Storting (Norwegian Parliament)
In addition to digitizing the physical collection, several other lines handle material that is “born digitally”, in so-called “reception lines”. For example we receive digital editions of newspapers and process these for archiving and distribution. The reception runs involve downloading, structure analysis and post-processing.
Reception runs for digital material
- Public surveys
- Sound books
- Web harvesting
Conservation: The collection represents the Norwegian nation’s collective memory. Digitizing will help to safeguard the collection for future generations. Security, scaleable solutions and ensuring sufficient capacity for migration and conversion of digital content are all important elements in digital archiving initiatives.
The National Library of Norway also offers services for archiving of digital content to other cultural institutions in Norway.
Distribution: Materials that are not protected by copyright are available to everyone online. Where agreements with copyright organisations are in place, copyright-protected material is also made available online to everyone with Norwegian IP addresses. The entire digital collection, including copyright-protected materials is available for research and documentation on the National Library of Norway’s premises.
The National Library of Norway’s vision is to act as a national memory bank by providing a multimedia knowledge centre focusing on archiving and distribution. To achieve this vision the National Library of Norway shall be a modern digital national library – and thus a new form of national library.
Users should be able to enjoy access to a large variety of digital content from wherever they are located, and whenever they want. This means the National Library of Norway’s digital collection must be available in both the National Digital Library and through other online services.
The National Library of Norway’s collection is being digitized in accordance with the requirements laid down for long-term archiving of digital content. The Library is establishing the required standards for this in collaboration with a number of international organisations. The digital objects are enriched with metadata and sustainable identifiers which will increase the opportunities for archiving, use and reuse over the next millennium. The Library facilitates diverse and varied use of the collection’s content. The content is published in an attractive format.
These objectives are achieved by:
- Systematic digitization of the entire National Library of Norway collection
- On demand digitization of on-demand material
- Entering into agreements with publishers to ensure that as much content as possible is deposited in digital format
- Serving as a digital archive and a secure archiving location for digital materials for both the National Library of Norway and other cultural institutions
- Collaborating with strategic economic and professional partners
- Providing access to as much as possible of the Norwegian cultural heritage
- Entering into agreements with right owners to give access to materials that are not in the public domain
- Being visible in search engines and relevant portals
- Offering a modern digital online library service
The National Library of Norway is systematically digitizing its entire collection. Modern legal deposit legislation requires all materials to be deposited, regardless of the media of provenance. The collection is also enhanced through strategic purchases and gifts. The National Library of Norway’s digital collection houses many different types of content ranging from the Middle Ages through to the present day.
In addition to systematic digitization, requests from third parties are taken into account to the extent these coincide with the National Library of Norway’s strategic prioritisations. It is important to exploit the potential offered by migrating the collection to a digital format. Searches are possible of both metadata and the collection’s content to the extent allowed by existing technology.
Today nearly all publishers produce their publications in digital format. The National Library of Norway strives to ensure that digital sources for all publications are deposited directly by the publisher, together with the publisher’s metadata. This will permit the collection to be expanded to include high-quality digital content as well as increase the size of the physical collection. Metadata received directly from the publisher will also improve the efficiency of cataloguing of material and simplify retrieval.
Many publishers also now issue in digital format. Such material is covered by the Norwegian Legal Deposit Act and is collected in the National Library of Norway – partly through direct digital depositing by the publisher and partly through regular collections of relevant online material performed by the Library.
Both digitizing and digital deposit are performed so as to satisfy requirements for digital archiving, where the National Library of Norway is establishing the necessary standards in collaboration with a number of international organisations. The Library’s trusted digital repository preserves the collection for the next millennium. Major challenges and costs attach to the establishment and operation of a large-scale digital archiving solution. The Library constantly endeavours to establish a flexible and scaleable solution offering a high degree of security, effective integrity controls, sufficient capacity and solutions for secure migration and conversion of digital content where required. This undertaking also requires personell who are highly skilled in digital archiving and infrastructure development and operation.
The National Library of Norway also offers services for storing digital content to other cultural institutions in Norway in collaboration with the National Archives of Norway.
The National Library of Norway establishes national standards relating to digitization of various types of material. This allows the Library to enter into strategic collaborations regarding digitizing initiatives. Several other parties wish to digitize either their own publications or parts of their collections for strategic reasons. Allocation of costs between the National Library of Norway and the publishers makes it possible to speed up digitization, while clearly defined standards for digitization work enables the Library to benefit from others’ digitization initiatives.
Entering into agreements
Digital content no longer covered by copyright shall be made available to everyone in the digital library. The entire digital collection shall be available for research and documentation on the National Library of Norway’s premises. The Library shall otherwise enter into agreements with beneficial owners regarding the right to grant online access to researchers, students and the Library’s users in general.
Available where the user wants
The National Library of Norway also offers its metadata and digital content as part of other online services. This allows users to access material in their preferred environment. This is achieved by offering services that other service suppliers can easily integrate into their own services, and generally making metadata and digital content available to search engines and other online service providers.
The Digital National Library
Distribution of the collection will increasingly be in digital form. The scope of opportunities within digital distribution is evolving at a rapid pace. The National Library of Norway constantly monitors developments in order to be able to adapt and utilise new distribution arenas and methods.
Co-ordinated searches in Norwegian library catalogues simplify access to the core book collection available in Norwegian libraries. At the same time, the opportunity to perform co-ordinated searches in the National Library of Norway’s catalogues improves the availability of the National Library of Norway’s collection.
The Digital National Library of Norway shall form the core of the Norwegian digital library. This means that large parts of Norwegian culture and knowledge dating back as far as the Middle Ages gradually will be made available in the Digital National Library. Together with supplementary collections from other institutions, this core will form the Norwegian Digital Library.
Bokhylla.no (The Bookshelf) is a collaboration project designed to provide online access to literature published in Norwegian based on a formal agreement between the National Library of Norway and Norwegian beneficial owners represented by Kopinor.
The service will cover around 250,000 books when completed in 2017. Books from the entire 20th century will be available to anyone with a Norwegian IP address. Books not protected by copyright may be downloaded.
The digital newspaper service is based on agreements between theNational Library and a growing number of Norwegian newspapers. These agreements secure digital delivery of new publications and the digitization of historical newspaper archives. A central aspect of these agreements is the right of Norwegian libraries to make newspaper archives available on their premises.
The National Library and NRK have entered an agreement for publishing content from the digital radio archive on nb.no. For over a decade, the National Library has been digitizing NRK’s entire historical radio archive and currently serves as a physical and digital remote archive for the broadcaster. This agreement means that all radio programmes where NRK holds the copyright, and performer and producer rights, will eventually be freely available for online streaming on nb.no. Initially, this will include most of NRK’s news broadcasts – from the oldest recordings to current programmes.
The National Library will be working to determine a technical solution for how to make these radio programmes available to the public in the future