Along with the rise of ebooks, we have been seeing a huge increase in the digitization of archives, libraries, and museums. The leaders in this field are in Europe with the fantastic Europeana project—a European digital library. Now comes Germany and it is adding its own contribution to the field of public digital archives.
From the press release:
The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) goes online for the general public today at www.deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de … This will pave the way for networking all of Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions together with their digitized inventories in the medium to long term and integrating them into the European digital library, Europeana. “The goal of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) is to offer everyone unrestricted access to Germany’s cultural and scientific heritage, that is, access to millions of books, archived items, images, sculptures, pieces of music and other sound documents, as well as films and scores, from all over Germany” explained Hermann Parzinger. … The first public beta version provides users with a great many contents and new functions. Users can explore the entire inventory of items using search terms. In addition, the system provides an advanced search as well as different filters to narrow down results. The information to be found there has been processed with a great deal of editorial care and bears the quality seal of Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions. Search results are not influenced by commercial interests. Thanks to the comprehensive preparation of the metadata, it is possible to carry out a uniform search in the collections from different contexts. “The user will soon be able to navigate between the objects found using semantic references, which will open up unexpected content and contexts. This will highlight connections and cross-references that are not clearly visible on the websites of individual institutions or on domain-specific sites, such as purely library-based portals for example. This is a feature unique to the DDB.” explained Matthias Harbort.
You can find the library here.
You can find the fantastic Europeana project here.