2013 Fall – Europe in Bits & Bytes

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2013, Vol. 37, No. 1

Column Editor: Mary Beth Clack

Pan-European Resources

International Open Access Week will be held from October 21-27, 2013. Livestream Events will be hosted. The site’s video library is a collection of past years’ presentations.

LIBER Europe Slideshare has published slide shows from the presentations from LIBER 2013 workshop on Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures entitled, ‘New Horizons for Open Access Policies in Europe’ and ‘Ten Recommendations on Research Data Management – What’s Next?’ (Munich, June 26, 2013). Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures Workshop at LIBER2013 presents the slide shows in the order in which they were given. This is an informative set of commentaries on open access policies in Europe and Research Data Management (RDM) strategies.

The Europeana Newspapers Project recently held a workshop on the development of its web browser: Presenting Historic Newspapers Online. Eighteen million digitised historic newspaper pages from 12 European libraries will be displayed. LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) also posted an article on Perfecting The Online Experience For Historic Digital Newspapers that listed partners and related design considerations.

An April 2013 Press Release by the European Commission, Vassiliou welcomes launch of first pan-European university MOOCs (massive open online courses), introduces the effort of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and mostly open universities to offer the MOOCs for about forty courses in twelve languages from institutions in France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Russia, Turkey and Israel. More information is found on the OpenupEd site. To learn more about the wide range of offerings from open educational resources, see OER Commons.

An excellent resource for learning materials related to linked data is EUCLID: EdUcational Curriculum for the Usage of Linked Data. The site includes practical training resources for practitioners: curricula, webinars, ebook chapters, exercises, and more. Partners include Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Ontotext, the Open University, STI Research and Consultancy, Fluid Operations AG (fluidOps), University Simón Bolívar, and the University of Southampton.

MOOCs in Europe was posted by iversity, “a diverse interdisciplinary team from Berlin.” The initiative was initially funded by an EXIST-Founder Scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

The Global E-book market: Current Conditions & Future Projections, is a report focusing on data from the U.S. and UK markets, as well as from European countries, Brazil, China, Russia, and the Arab World. Market close-ups for each country or region are included, as well as data on key drivers, debates, and e-book piracy, outlook and projections.

Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe (RECODE) is the newest addition to the Relevant EU-funded projects page on the European Commission’s Science in Society portal. RECODE is a forum in which existing networks, communities and projects will ultimately produce “policy recommendations for open access to research data based on existing good practice.”

At a European Commission hearing on July 2, 2013, OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe, the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) made recommendations for an EC Open Data Pilot. The aim is to encourage the sharing of research data funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, as described in the joint statement.


Open Access in France: State of the Art and Perspectives was presented by Jean-François Lutz, Université de Lorraine, as part of the LIBER 2013 workshop on Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures entitled, ‘New Horizons for Open Access Policies in Europe’ and ‘Ten Recommendations on Research Data Management – What’s Next?’, Munich, June 26, 2013.

TeleRead reports on a modest market share for e-books in France: French publishing report shows slow e-book uptake, slower adaptation in France. Cited in the article is the agreement signed in March 2013 to reformulate contracts between authors and publishers, modifying the Code of Intellectual Property and the Code of Practice. For more on the agreement between the Conseil permanent des écrivains (CPE) and the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE), see Authors and publishers – a “historic” agreement.

Dire, ne pas dire, first launched by l’Académie française in October 2011, continues to be the lively forum for commentary on 21st-century French as a living language. The site includes errors, anglicisms, neologisms, surprises as well as questions from readers and responses from the Academicians.

Proust celebrations continue, with two news notes. Columbia University’s Maison Française presented a conference on October 4-5, 2013, Proust Reread / Proust Relu: Du côté de chez Swann at 100, organized by Elisabeth Ladenson and Antoine Compagnon and sponsored by Jeanine Parisier Plottel and the Maurice I. Parisier Foundation, with other funding from Florence Gould Foundation, Air France, and other Centennial Sponsors. The Proust & Me Blog has a number of interesting reflections.

The upcoming Journée d’étude hosted by Groupe de travail Traitements et contraintes will focus on “Questions de théories: quels usages des classiques dans les études sur la contrainte ?” and will be held on November 14, 2013, as announced by l’EHESS Iris: Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux. Last year’s conference proceedings are housed on this site: Le Colloque de 2012. The papers are presented as videos with accompanying summaries and abstracts.

As this column goes to “press,” I read in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s ‘Wired CampusVive la Révolution MOOC about but one of the entities offering online courses, l’Université numérique. Readers may also find these sites of interest for their presentation of online curricula of various kinds: Le CERIMES, Centre de ressources et d’information sur les multimédias pour l’enseignement supérieur (a service of CNDP, Centre national de documentation pédagogique, affiliated with the Direction générale pour l’enseignement supérieur et l’insertion professionnelle (D.G.E.S.I.P.) of the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche) and Canal-U: la webtv de l’enseignement supérieur.


Il “lettore” Calvino: il lavoro editoriale, le riviste, le collane describes the exhibit opening in late October at the Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma honoring the 90th birthday of Italo Calvino. In other related news, Princeton University Press published the first translation of Calvino’s correspondence into English earlier this year: Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985

News stories about the Torah scroll discovered by Mauro Perani, Professor of Hebrew, in the archives of the Università di Bologna Library abounded in May. A full account by Professor Perani is posted on an open facebook page, Hebrew Codicology and Paleography on the “Hebrew Manuscript as source for the study of History and Literature.”


The National Library of Spain recently found a fragment of an autographed manuscript of an opera score by the composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) bound in an album of nineteenth-century photographs and drawings: La BNE descubre entre sus fondos un manuscrito de Vincenzo Bellini.

Publishing Perspectives posted a summary of a discussion about e-books and apps in libraries during the recent III Simposio Internacional sobre Libro Electrónico La Cadena del libro en el mundo digital.
Ebooks and Libraries in the Spanish-speaking World speaks to the issues of regulation as the library market for e-books grows.

Spain Raises eBook VAT to 21% was a brief news note in GoodEreader in July 2013.


In a recent article in PublishNews Brazil, Total Number of Portuguese Brazilian Ebook Titles Reaches 25,000, we learn that the latest Simplissimo survey shows that this growth is due in part to an increase in the number of self-published authors.

The DAISY Consortium Welcomes the National Library of Portugal heralds the newest member of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, devoted to the development of digital talking books.


A collaboration between the National Endowmment for the Humanities and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V., DFG) is supporting projects that contribute to developing and implementing digital infrastructures and services for humanities research. The NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program has held three competitions thus far, with the latest round of projects having begun in May 2013.

DhD digital humanities deutschland is the website launched in late 2012 following the successful Digital Humanities 2012 conference in Hamburg. The source covers projects, news, study centers, etc. in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Cologne Center for the Humanities, Universität zu Köln sponsored the the Cologne Commons Conference in October 2013 on the Commons as center for research, teaching, art and cultural life. The CCeH website highlights various collaborations and projects, including DIXIT, the international Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network.

Oeuvres de Frédéric le Grand – Werke Friedrichs des Großen, a digital edition created at the Universität Trier, presents the original French edition and German translations with searchable text and images.

A new blog, Book History and Print Culture Network, was launched to address the interests of scholars gathered at an interdisciplinary conference at Freiburg University in May 2013. The focus is on book history and related topics as explored in German-speaking areas and by those concentrating on German-regional issues. News, conference information, project descriptions and essays will be included on this site.

CLARIN ERIC (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure announced in June 2013 that the German Volksvagen Foundation-funded DoBeS Archive has a new portal, permitting enhancements to accessing documentation on over one hundred endangered languages.


austrian cultural forum is a new site created by the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, an agency of the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs operating via the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. A page is devoted to Select Events in Austria, in addition to offerings related to literature, cinema, dance, music, theater, cabaret, and folk customs in the U.S. and other countries.

austrianresearchuk highlights posts on Austria in translation, emigration, and the 2014 conference of the Austrian Studies Association, among other news notes.


The Swiss National Library comments on The future is digital – but paper remains: the Swiss National Library in 2012 in a post dated June 6, 2013. Among the points covered in the report: the Library now offers digitized newspapers in all four national languages; the Swiss Poster Catalogue and Helveticat have mobile versions; and the “Images et Voix de la culture Suisse” (IMVOCS) project now has holdings fully available, via the Swiss National Sound Archives under an agreement with the National Library.

Geneva and the Open Knowledge Foundation were hosts to OKCon: Open Knowledge Conference, September 16-18, 2013. While the scope of the offerings was international, Swiss organizations were highlighted in the Talks-Open Switzerland panel and the Swiss Government Open Data Portal was launched as part of the proceedings. (Program PDF)

The Digital Humanities 2014 conference will be hosted by the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). This international conference, sponsored by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO), will be held in Lausanne from July 7-12, 2013. Adhering to the theme of Digital Cultural Empowerment, the Call for Proposals requests contributions that treat “digital dissemination of patrimonial content, participatory experiences, environments that improve digital literacy, and research that evaluates the effectiveness of such kind of projects.” Several keynotes will be presented. The opening keynote speaker is Bruno Latour.


The National Library of Sweden/Kungliga biblioteket is now able to make the collection of materials donated by Paul Lipschutz (1920-2008) fully accessible, thanks to a gift from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
Donated poster collection of world-class distinction elucidates.

The flickr channel for the National Library of Sweden has mounted a selection of Bookbindings representing all periods from medieval times to the present. Descriptions are in Swedish and English and follow a system developed by Helena Strömquist.

In other news from the Kungliga biblioteket, the new law for legal deposit of legal materials (print and digital) comes into effect in 2015. As noted in More than just print, preparations during the interim period (from April 1, 2013 to December 31st, 2014), will involve designing effective processes for delivering content, readying for the moment when the law is fully enacted.

In Europeana’s post dated September 27, 2013, Newspaper Spotlight From The National Library of Finland describes four newspapers that will be included in the Europeana Newspapers Project.

A recent article in Scandinavian Library News, vol. 46 no. 3 (2013), Open Libraries in Denmark describes self-service libraries, numbering 150 of Denmark’s 450 libraries, in which citizens may “unlock the door” to extend library hours.

A June 30, 2013 Press Release, Chicago Public Library Awarded $1 Million Grant to Pioneer Innovative Library Model, heralds the grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will enable the CPL to collaborate with the Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark to build innovative services and programs. IDEO, a design firm, is also a partner in the project.


The portal of the e-Humanities group, a cross-institute initiative of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) lists workshop topics of interest to digital humanities enthusiasts. The Riddle of Literary Quality, one of the proposed projects, will examine formal characteristics of modern Dutch novels and compare findings with those of novels of other time periods. The News section of the site features talks on topics such as citation maps of authors in the humanities, big data and other digital humanities projects and conferences.


The National Archives (UK) has launched a new website. Described in a post dated September 2013, the new site is user-centered and has updated its blog and top-level service pages. The Archives is also featuring an article on resources associated with The Munich Agreement.

In August, The Bodleian Library announced that the archives of the British University North America Club (BUNAC) had been acquired: BUNAC archive comes to the Bodleian Libraries. The club was a noteworthy program promoting international understanding among students in the UK, United States, Canada and other countries.

The James Merrill Digital Archive: Materials for the ‘Book of Ephraim’, a collaboration among Washington University Libraries’ Manuscript and Digital Library Services unit staff, the Department of English in Arts & Sciences, and students and staff in the Humanities Digital Workshop, is a project that provides a digital archive of drafts of “The Book of Ephraim” and relevant Ouija transcripts, shedding light on the poet’s writing and revision process.

Open Book Publishers has announced its Digital Humanities Series with four titles available: Oral Literature in the Digital Age: Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities, Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics, The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture, and Text and Genre in Reconstruction: Effects of Digitalization on Ideas, Behaviours, Products and Institutions. Editors and contributors are prominent scholars in the digital humanities field. PDF versions as well as hardback and paperback options are offered.

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has issued the Humanities Report Card 2013. This publication draws on the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences’ paper, The Heart of the Matter, and elaborates on the value of the humanities and the challenges being faced in our time.

As of August 31, 2013, DRAPIer: Digital Research And Projects in Ireland, an interactive site of Irish digital humanities projects and techniques, has ceased to be updated.

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.