Digitization and Presentation of Music Documents in the Bavarian State Library

By Diet, Jurgen | Fontes Artis Musicae, July-September 2014 | Go to article overview

Digitization and Presentation of Music Documents in the Bavarian State Library


Diet, Jurgen, Fontes Artis Musicae


1. The Bavarian State Library and Its Music Department

The Bavarian State Library ("Bayerische Staatsbibliothek") (2) is one of the most important European general libraries and ranks among the best research libraries on an international scale. It forms Germany's virtual national library together with the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) and the German National Library ("Deutsche Nationalbibliothek") in Frankfurt and Leipzig. The Bavarian State Library is also the central state library and repository library of the Free State of Bavaria. With 10 million books, about 62,000 current periodicals in printed or electronic form, and about 96,000 manuscripts the Bavarian State Library is one of the most important knowledge centers of the world. Every year approximately 130,000 volumes are added, which are selected and catalogued systematically according to scholarly criteria.

The library's unique collection profile is characterized by extremely precious manuscripts, rare printed books, and comprehensive special collections from thousands of years of cultural heritage. But, at the same time, the library rises to the challenges of the future: the Bavarian State Library is continuously enhancing its digital and Internet-based services, for example in the areas of electronic journals, mass digitization of its collections, and the development of innovative digitization technologies. (3)

The Music Department of the Bavarian State Library (4) belongs to the list of internationally leading music libraries in view of both the quality and the scope of its historical collection and its traditionally broad acquisition spectrum. Its holdings currently amount to approximately 388,000 scores, 40,000 music manuscripts, 92,000 music sound carriers, 330 archives of musicians, and 164,000 music books and music periodicals.

The Music Department offers its services to a broad range of international music scholars, making sources available and giving comprehensive information. Holding many sources of music which are not available or hardly accessible in other libraries, the Department also continually supplies reproductions of historical works for study and research, performances, and radio or record recordings.

The acquisition budget of the Music Department amounts to around 600,000 [euro] per year; a part of this money is supplied by the German Research Foundation ("Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft", DFG).

2. The Munich Digitization Center

The Munich Digitization Center ("Munchener Digitalisierungszentrum", MDZ) is an institution within the Bavarian State Library and was founded in 1997. It digitizes the holdings of the Bavarian State Library and presents them on its web pages free of charge. As of March 2014, 1,024,000 objects have been digitized by the MDZ. (5) Several presentation forms are used for the digitized objects, among others 3D-presentations and apps on mobile devices. The digitization projects in the MDZ are of very different kinds and range from mass digitizations using scan robots to so-called "boutique digitizations" with very special requirements and extensive cataloguing. (6) In March 2014, the MDZ used 24 scan systems for its digitization projects. The scan systems, the digitization policy, and the digitization workflow of the MDZ are described on the MDZ web page (7). The workflow of the MDZ is managed by the "Zentrale Erfassungs- und Nachweisdatenbank" (ZEND), a scaleable self-made workflow tool based on a MySQL database. Every single step of the digitization process follows the "Practical Guidelines for the Cultural Heritage Funding Programme" (8) of the German Research Foundation.

Since 2007, the Bavarian State Library has been working with Google in a public-private-partnership where Google will scan around 1,000,000 copyright-free books from the holdings of the Bavarian State Library.

The digital objects that result from the digitization projects are long-term preserved on large tape storage systems. …

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