Communication on the digitization of the German-language cultural heritage from Eastern Europe

[Contribution to the Strategy paper on the digitization of the German-language cultural heritage from Eastern Europe:]

Indispensable for a successful digitization process is the factor of communication between the digitizing institutions. A technical contribution for this desideratum is the buildup of a collaborative database for digitized German-language materials from Eastern Europe which could complement the aforementioned projected bibliographical database or even be based on it (see 1. Documentation). Its primary use is to indicate already digitized stocks for avoiding abundant digitization which is costly and regressive for the overall process and deters any promoter. Digitizing institutions should therefore regularly report to this database their newly digitized stocks. Apart from the organizational aspect a database could make visible digitization desiderata and significantly improve the collaboration between digitizing institutions. Ultimately the database can also be used by researchers for gaining for themselves an overview on the already digitally accessible materials.

For periodicals these functions are complied by the excellent database of the Zeitschriftendatenbank which also provides vast bibliographical data. Its utilization for the digitization of German-language periodicals from Eastern Europe is utterly mandatory, especially after the implementation of the latest version which provides the possibility to announce digitizations in progress. A comparable database for monographs and other materials should be devised in the near future.

Another contribution to improving the communication infrastructure on the process is the buildup of a multipurpose communication platform. The format of a weblog is certainly capable to basically serve this task. For this purpose the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) has founded the present blog where librarians, archivists and other researchers who are active or leading within the digitization process can register and publish presentations of their projects, papers, announcements for scientific events and initiate debates and improve their networking for the purpose of international collaboration.

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