Digitising library collections entails providing access to cultural heritage through the national resources of libraries presented electronically, which makes the data more accessible and attractive to use, and also makes information sources stored in libraries available to citizens using the web.
St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library owns one of the richest and most valuable collections of varied types of materials - books, manuscripts, periodicals, graphics, and other publications, representing Bulgarian cultural heritage. The digitisation centre established at the library also makes it a natural centre for coordination and partnership with other cultural institutions.
Up to now, the National Library has digitised and presented around 4,000 documents on the Europeana website. Documents may consist of one page (photographs, letters, maps) or several pages (periodicals, books). The documents presented are mainly Slavic, oriental and other foreign language manuscripts; old print, rare and valuable publications; archive documents, including photographs and portraits; oriental documents; graphic documents; cartographic documents; ongoing editions.
In 2008 the "Pencho Slaveykov" Regional Library - Varna launched its cooperation with Europeana as a partner in the EuropeanaLocal project. Originally recognised as a data creator (provider), later the library officially launched an OAI-PMH repository and commenced actual data aggregation activity for a limited number of libraries and museums. It is currently the largest data provider with more than 60,000 entries into the Europeana database, while also acting as a generator for other regional libraries actively digitising their valuable collections. The "Lyuben Karavelov" Regional Library in Ruse, "Dora Gabe" Regional Library in Dobrich, the Hr. Smirnenski Regional Library in Haskovo, the Rodina Library in Stara Zagora, as well as museums from Varna and Stara Zagora are also actively involved.
The process of digitising materials stored in Bulgarian libraries and archives continues to be significantly more active than that of movable and immovable cultural assets.
This is one of the main approaches for activating the information functions of libraries. Digitalisation of such material is aimed at preservation, long-term storage and enabling widespread access to cultural content stored in libraries.
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