2012 Fall – Europe in Bits & Bytes

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2012, Vol. 36, No. 1


Column Editor: Mary Beth Clack

Pan-European Resources

ARROW: Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works, a “tool to facilitate rights information management in any digitisation project involving text and image based works,” has announced the publication of the Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) feasibility study. In July 2012, the report appeared, focusing on how to “streamline copyright licensing in the UK with the intention of creating a cross-industry, interoperable Digital Copyright Exchange.”
Future of Copyright, a “platform for news and discussion about the future of copyright in the information society,” that strives for balanced views and reporting. The site’s Knowledge Database collocates important reports, rulings, statements and other materials.
From this site, we learn of the conference, “Toward Flexible Copyright,” held in the Hague in February 2012. Mentioned in one of the introductory speeches (by Fred Teeven, State Secretary of Security and Justice, the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice), is the downloadable article, Fair Use in Europe: In Search of Flexibilities by P. B. Hugenholtz (University of Amsterdam) and Martin Senftleben (VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Law) which treats the subject from the perspectives of EU, international and national law.
Europeana is actively soliciting user feedback on its site with a brief survey. Two other surveys will be posted to their Facebook page as well. Of special interest to Europeana is user reaction to how the interface will display and function on mobile and tablet devices, a soon-to-be launched development.
In September 2012, Judaica Europeana gave an update on its progress. Over 20 million items now comprise the collection. Data will be open under the CC0 rights waiver, enabling reuse of the data. A piece posted by Jonathan Gray of the Open Knowledge Foundation from the Guardian’s coverage, Europeana opens up data on 20 million cultural items, elucidates.
UNESCO sponsored a conference, The Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation from September 26-28, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bringing together information professionals from the heritage sectors along with government, information technology professionals, rights holders and other parties, discussions centered on policy and practical recommendations affecting the preservation of digital documentary heritage and protection of related assets.
European Parliament Passes Orphan Works Directive, a statement on the uses of orphan works and protocols for their digitization, appeared on Intellectual Property Watch (See the EU’s Orphan Works for the original proposal, impact assessment and citizen’s summary for related documents).
The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) offered a number of informative postings in the past few months. EBLIDA’s Strategy and Annual Report 2010-2013 are now available. The final report of the High Level Group on Literacy, has been published, addressing the findings of its research on successful literacy programs and policies in Europe. The site’s calendar displays a wide range of events, conferences and activities throughout Europe.
In July 2012, a joint statement was released by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) urging members of the European Parliament to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Cited were concerns about the exclusion of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the deliberations that favored enforcement of copyright law over flexibility.
On the Open Access front, the official Open Access to Scholarly Information site has posted the news that new recommendations to the Budapest Open Access Initiative have been released, ten years after the original statement.

French

The web was replete with tributes related to the Tricentenaire Rousseau. Rousseau Chemins Ouverts is a good point of departure for browsing. In France, the regions are well-represented by the Blog Rousseau which tracks events and activities with regularity. Rhone-Alpes.fr hosts “Rousseau aux champs,” a lively theatrical performance and other concerts and happenings.
L’Abbaye de Chaalis hosted its eleventh annual “Journées de la Rose” in June. Entitled “Jean-Jacques au Jardin,” the fête included exhibitions, animations and horticultural honoring the philosopher.
French government sites paid homage as well. The Assemblée Nationale offered Rousseau et la Revolution, a curated exhibit of unique documents. The Archives de France contribution was
Programme des manifestations Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of its Commemorations Nationales 2012.
On a lighter note, even Google paid homage to the philosopher with a Google doodle, reportedly made viewable at Google France’s home page.
Another event was well worth commemorating, as reported in ActualLitté, September 7, 2012:
Les 5 ans de Bibliothèques Sans Frontières à l’auditorium du Petit Palais. This humanitarian network is present in 20 countries and supports libraries, librarians, collections and 500 volunteers worldwide. Bibliothèques sans frontières displays a number of video testimonials to mark the occasion.
For several months, we’ve seen stories covering the introduction of Google Play in the French book market as an e-book platform. (For example,
Google Play Books Arrives in France Following The Settlement Of All Outstanding Legal Disputes). As this column goes to press, another announcement involving Google and its competitors was posted by TNW: The Next Web blog in a September 2012 story, Amazon launches Cloud player in the UK, France and Germany, beating Google to the punch.
Thanks to Sarah Wenzel, we were alerted to the development of MigrinterNet, as mentioned in hypotheses.org in July 2012. This interdisciplinary project on international migration will make articles, books, chapters, theses and other documents available, due to the support of Bibliothèque de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société (MSHS) de Poitiers.

Italian

L’Associazione Italiana Editori (AIE) announced that the Rapporto sullo stato dell’editoria in Italia 2011 con la Mappa dell’editoria has been published. A summary and statistics are in PDF format.
The Turin International Book Fair (Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino) announced that more small publishers from other regions in Italy will be invited to participate in the 2013 fair, adopting the “Model Piemonte,” according to a June 22, 2012 posting on the Fair’s website.
A review of comparison data related to the Levi-Prodi Law occurred on the first anniversary of the adoption of the law.
Arte Libro 2012 celebrates its ninth year with exhibits in venues throughout Bologna (from September 21-23, 2012) and over 100 artists participating.
An interesting summary of digital humanities efforts, programs and publications in a number of countries has been published on lincei.academia.edu by its author, Paolo Monella of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Centro Linceo Interdiciplinare “Beniamino Segre.” Entitled
L’Informatica Umanistica nel mondo esperienze in corso/Where are the Digital Humanities Today?, this paper was published in Rome on June 20, 2012.

Spanish

The National Library of Spain has mounted a virtual exhibition, El imaginario de Leonardo based on the valuable Códices Madrid I y II. Códice II contains 116 titles of books owned by the artist.
A July 19, 2012 article in Publishing Perspectives alerts us to recent austerity measures in Spain: the E-book VAT has increased to 21%, while the print book VAT remains at 4%: Spain Hikes E-book VAT to 21%, Likely Slowing Growth. In other news, competition in the e-book reader market is accelerating. The largest e-book provider, Casa del Libro launched its Tagus reader, which provides access to more titles than the Kindle and cloud storage (unlimited titles for an unlimited time period):
Booksellers, Multinationals Battle over Spain’s E-book Buyers.
Intellectual Property Watch reports on the status of two laws which may extend the public domain in Argentina, substantially changing the 1933 copyright law:
Two Key Laws For The Public Domain Fare Differently In Argentine Congress.
An NEH grant for the Spanish Paleography Digital Teaching and Learning Tool has been established for the development of a platform that will enable users to “employ and teach advanced techniques in analyzing and reading four centuries of Spanish writing styles.” Writing styles in Spanish language documents of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries are the basis for the tool.

Portuguese

In acquisitions news, Cartas de Al Berto doadas à Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal describes additions to the Arquivo de Cultura Portuguesa Contemporânea. The donation from poet Carlos Matias included letters sent to Matias from Al Berto (pen name of Alberto Raposo Pidwell Tavares) during the period from 1982 to 1990.
An important symposium on cartography was held at the National Library, the first of its kind in Iberia.
IV Simpósio Ibero-Americano de História da Cartografia: Cartógrafos para toda a Terra. Produção e circulação do saber cartográfico ibero-americano: agentes e contextos, a collaboration of the Library, the Centro de Estudos Geográficos da Universidade de Lisboa (CEG/UL) and the Centro de História de Além-Mar da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (CHAM/UNL) took place from September 11-14, 2012.

German

DHd-Blog: Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum is a collaboration between TextGrid, DARIAH-DE and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, serving to document current activities in the digital humanities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
A free online version of Der 4. Bildungsbericht (2012): “Bildung in Deutschland 2012. Ein indikatorengestützter Bericht mit einer Analyse zur kulturellen Bildung im Lebenslauf” is now available. Forum Bibliothek und Informationen noted that this is the first time libraries have been included in this document.
The Badische Landtagsprotokolle (Baden Landtag protocols) are now being digitized. When the project is completed, over 600 volumes of protocols, supplements and registers, covering 1819 to 1933, will be available for consultation and searching. Also of interest on the Baden State Library site is the collection of Virtuelle Schatzkammer. Of particular note is the Nibelungen-Handschrift C, the oldest extant manuscript of the Nibelungenlied.
From the September 2012 Newsletter by Editeur, we learn that German publishers, intermediaries and retailers have developed a sales reporting standard derived from the EDItX standard. The Editeur site is a good source for news related to trade standards in 21 countries.
The Cologne Dialogue on Digital Humanities features materials related to it Controversies around the Digital Humanities: Proceedings of a Workshop. Each of the seven “controversies” is documented with preliminary papers, conference presentation slides and videos and revised papers. The site offers space for comments gathered since the event was held at the Wahn Manor House on April 23 and 24, 2012. A video of the final presentation, Hans-Christoph Hobohm: Do Digital Libraries Generate Knowledge? is on YouTube.
Innovationen “Made in Germany” – der Bundesbericht Forschung und Innovation 2012 is now available, highlighting innovation in companies, universities and research centers.
Hamburg hosted the annual DH 2012 (Digital Humanities) conference in July. The opening ceremony and plenary session and the closing sessions are posted on lecture2go.

Austrian

The Salzburg Global Seminar featured a seminar on Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture (October 19-23, 2011). Created in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., this reportage includes podcasts of selected sessions.
An article from austriantimes.at, Largest monastic library reopens in Austria, hails the full reopening of the Upper Styrian Benedictine monastery library in Admont to scholars after a four-year renovation.
The Austrian National Library’s collection of Incunabula now includes the Grazer Kalender of 1848. This acquisition contains a georama, prompting an informative description of this ingenious, but ultimately short-lived, concept.
Tech site Engadget ran an unusual story this summer, Austrian city builds public library with nothing but QR codes, NFC and stickers, describing Klagenfurt’s Project Ingeborg, an effort to instruct users about downloading public domain works in the absence of a physical library building.

Swiss

Swiss online accolades to Jean-Jacques Rousseau join those of other countries mentioned in this edition of Europe in Bits & Bytes. The main gathering site for all things Rousseau is 2012 Rousseau pour tous. Radio-Télévision Suisse offers various programs, including selections from the archives, a series of readings of Les rêveries du promeneur solitaire, andLa Faute à Rousseau, links to short films dedicated to Rousseau and created in connection with the Tricentenaire. UNESCO’s Memoire du Monde project selected the Collections Jean-Jacques Rousseau de Genève et de Neuchâtel for special acclamation this year.
Several items of note emanate from the Swiss National Library. Following in the footsteps of other institutions, Helveticat’s metadata has been made accessible via a Creative Commons CCC0 1.0 license: Open data strategy: “Helveticat” metadata released. Likewise, it was recently reported that a Mobile version of Helveticat now available. The National Library is also contributing materials from its Print Room to the graphic collections project,
Netzwerk Graphische Sammlungen NRW, an effort spearheaded by the Museen Nordrhein-Westfalen and counting Switzerland, Austrian and Germany as collaborators.

Scandinavian

An extensive listing of the IFLA WLIC 2012 Finnish Library World Special Presentations has been compiled by libraries.fi.
Sage Journals is allowing free access to an article on the history of the Finnish library system, The Finnish library system: open collaboration for an open society, published in the IFLA Journal 38:2 (June 2012).
The National Library of Sweden announced a new service, Old Reports in a New Format, signaling a “common entry point” to all Swedish Government Official Reports (Statens offentliga utredningar, SOU) from 1922 to 1998. Once scanning by a “digitizing robot” is completed in 2013, the backfile will be integrated with the reports published from 1999 forward.
A notice on Imaging.org states that a chapter of the proceedings of Archiving 2012 conference will treat Digidaily – Inter-Agency Mass Digitisation of Newspapers in Sweden. The initiative is sponsored by the National Library of Sweden (KB) and the Media Conversion Centre (MKC), a part of The National Archives of Sweden. Completion of the project is set for March 2013.
The Royal Library-National Library of Denmark and Copenhagen University Library has been listing its recently digitized music since June/July 2011. The latest update involves the republishing in digital form of selected works from the Music and Theatre Collection: The Danish National Digital Sheet Music Archive
(June 12, 2012).
The U21 Digital Humanities Workshop took place at Lund University, Lund, Sweden, September 19-21, 2012 with the theme Interfaces – Digital studies of culture and cultural studies of the digital.

BeNeLux

The National Library of Luxembourg celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Cid-Femmes, an organization devoted to women’s and gender studies, educational, cultural and socio-political projects and maintaining historical documents. The two entities marked this anniversary by signing an agreement that integrates Cid-Femmes documents and its music archive, Euterpe, into library network Luxembourg: bibnet.lu.
Luxembourg has established a Digital Humanities Lab, described on the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research.
A good summary article was posted to the Rechtsgeschiedenis Blog: Legal History with a Dutch View, commenting on Rousseau’s influence on law.
The eHumanities site of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences is a good source of information on events, seminars, fellowships, workshops.
NetLab Denmark is the research infrastructure project for the study of internet materials within the national Danish Digital Humanities Lab (DigHumLab) and its partner, the Center for Internet Studies, Aarhus University.

English

Universities have improved access to mobile services, new report shows
describes the JISC-funded sixth Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning.
The British Library’s Writing Britain exhibition is accompanied by videos featuring noted British authors offering their insights on landscape and literature.
The British Library’s 19th century book collection has a free iPad app allowing users to access, initially, over 1000 books of the period, largely illustrated books and travelogues. The full list will number 60,000 books. It includes novels, works of philosophy, history and science, according to the Fast Company post and video link, Another Oliver Twist: British Library Builds 60,000-Book iPad App.
The University of Toronto Press has been experimenting with free access to some of its journal content. Via Facebook, their page, Journals-University of Toronto Press lists links to free articles available for that week. Supplementing the posts are related articles of interest. For the week of September 19th, Eighteenth Century Fiction was highlighted.
Duke University Press is making use of Scribd to feature its lists and discount offers on titles to be on sale at various upcoming conferences, such as the Modern Language Association conference in Boston (January 2013). Scribd is also being used by various university presses to publish catalogs and subject lists.
Search university presses for examples.
Recently, two presses used their blogs to comment on the best items from university press blogs. University Press Roundup from Columbia (July 6, 2012) was followed by Yale’s What SUP from Your Favorite University Presses, August, 17, 2012. Another trend to watch is university press “shorts,” or “briefs,” the subject of a recent article on TeleRead: Short-Form Digital Grows at University Presses.
Princeton was the first press to engage in this form of publishing, followed by Stanford Briefs and North Carolina’s UNC Press E-Book Shorts. How much these programs boost sales and heighten visibility for the presses remains to be seen.
The pilot issue of Archive is online. The journal’s focus is on the “use and theory of archives and special collections in higher education.” The site is composed of asynchronous discussions, articles on meaning-making through archives and a community space, Life in the Archive.
University College London collaborators, the UCL Centre for Transnational History, UCL Art Museum and UCL Special Collections, sponsored several commemorative events for the Rousseau Tricentenary, under the rubric Rousseau 300: Nature, Self and State. An exhibition, international conference and a performance of Le Devin du Village, a one-act opera by Rousseau, comprised this celebration of word, image and sound. The conference keynote given by Axel Honneth is captured via this podcast.


Please continue to submit notifications and/or reviews for inclusion in the upcoming issue of Europe in Bits & Bytes, as well as any comments to Mary Beth Clack.
NOTE: links are those in effect at the time of publication and are not systematically updated.