1. Could you introduce yourself, your organisation and the role in the Europeana Newspapers project?
My name is Lily Knibbeler, Head of Marketing and Services at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek is the national library of the Netherlandsand in Europeana Newspapers we act both as a content provider and as a technical partner. The work package on refinement is led by my colleague of the Research department Clemens Neudecker.
2. Why newspapers?
Newspapers are one of the most popular material types in our library, because they are so rich with information and thus appeal to such a wide range of people. Adding 2 million of our digitised newspaper pages to Europeana Newspapers provides users with a more elaborate experience and we are very happy to offer them this chance.
3. What do you think the project will bring to your library and to the partner libraries?
Europeana Newspapers gives us the opportunity to work together with other European libraries to provide a single entry point into a unique European newspaper collection. Enriching the content with OCR, layout information and in some cases even named entities will only increase the usability of the newspapers and the experience of the users. We believe the project guides more people to this unique set and thus expand the use of our newspapers across Europe.
4. What do you think will be the most valuable public outcomes of the project and who will enjoy them?
We believe having a one-of-a-kind collection of enriched European newspapers available via Europeana will be a very valuable public outcome of the project. The European community benefits greatly from our efforts and can combine all available European material for any research area, whether it be historical events, or genealogy. Next to this, we think that our work towards the best practice recommendations provides another very valuable outcome of the project, as streamlining the digitisation process for newspapers, including aggregation into Europeana, paves the way for other institutions in Europe to follow in our footsteps.
5. What are the biggest challenges in the project as you see it?
We think one of the major challenges in the project is the quantity of newspapers to be refined. We have currently digitised, OCRed and added layout information to 9 million pages of newspapers at the KB, which was an immense project for our library, but has now been made available at http://kranten.kb.nl/. Having undergone this major task, we know the effort that is needed and can thus contribute our experiences to the refinement in Europeana Newspapers to ensure the process runs smoothly.