From The Day:
The National Historical Library of Ukraine (NHLU) presented the results of the first stage of the project “Worldwide Access to Historical Heritage of Ukraine through Digitization”
This is a joint initiative of the library and the Intellectual Leadership youth NGO. The project aims to preserve and promote cultural and historical documentary heritage of world and national importance, which is kept at the NHLU.
They have digitized over 120 local history and rare books, half of which are freely available on the library’s website. It is planning to digitize a few hundred books more over the next years. The project participants have created full image catalog of the library listing thousands of books. From now on, researchers, students and all interested citizens will be able to determine a book’s availability without leaving home.
The library is using two scanners currently, but they are not suitable for all books. Digitizing expert from Russia Tatyana Belyaeva notes: “When it comes to rare books of the 13th through 19th centuries, one should determine how well preserved they are before digitization starts, and, subject to this determination, select equipment to be used. European and Russian libraries have been using non-contact vacuum scanners to digitize poorly preserved books for a decade, while we scan using two mass-market professional scanners that cost about 70,000 euros each. We would need hundreds of these scanners to complete the project in five years! Therefore, the library has to make important decisions on what books to digitize first. These are the ones that are in high demand and the ones with high national and historical or technical value.”
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