The European Library is expanding – CCS digitises volumes of
the „Wiener Zeitung“ held by the Austrian National Library
Hamburg – The Austrian National Library in Vienna is a pioneering force in Europe for the digitisation of books, newspapers and other materials.
By order and at the expense of Austrian foundation Socrates, the Hamburg based docWORKS specialist CCS Content Conversion Specialists has digitised the “Wiener Zeitung” (Viennese Newspaper) with all its supplements: “Wiener Abendpost” (Vienna Evening Mail), “Amtsblatt” (Gazette) and “Zentralanzeiger für Handel und Gewerbe” (Official Trade and Commerce Bulletin). The Wiener Zeitung is part of the stock of the Austrian National Library. The project covers the volumes from 1909 to 1923 and has a total of 100.000 pages. The Wiener Zeitung is the oldest Austrian newspaper that is still being published today, having started in 1703 as the “Wienerisches Diarium” (Viennese Daily). Its Gothic type represents a tough challenge for OCR (optical character recognition). The digitising process includes automatic analysis of the papers’ layout (captions, columns etc) – this will later enable searches to be performed within an article.
“Newspapers very much reflect not just international, but also regional and local history, politics and culture as well as ethical and social concerns of the time. With Europe ever expanding, there is a strong renewed interest in one’s local region. No other source covers the diversity of regional information available better than newspapers.
Digitisation provides improved accessibility to the volumes of the Wiener Zeitung for a large portion of the population. Access is fast and easy, offering worldwide and around-the-clock information retrieval” says Bettina Kann, Main Department Director of the Digital Library at the Austrian National Library, explaining why the Wiener Zeitung was selected and the demand for digital access to its volumes.
A temporary online portal has been launched to access the Wiener Zeitung: http://onb-ccs.dlconsulting.com. It is test version, using web delivery software Veridian. This software allows for easy searchability and display of newspapers, as well as online access to other digitised printed media such as magazines, books, manuscripts, research papers etc.