National library has digital ambitions

The Latvian National Library (LNB) in the coming 18 months will implement a project concerned with digitization of cultural heritage co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and in cooperation with national information agency LETA and technologies company Fitek, LETA reported September 4.

The library plans to digitize several millions of newspapers, books, pages of musical notes, documents of culture monuments from the stocks of the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Monuments (VKPAI), said LNB digital library head Arturs Zogla.

The agreement with LETA has been signed for a total sum of EUR 1.266 million, while Fitek has been attracted as a sub-contractor.

Zogla said that there is a big demand for newspapers as it is unique material, and often available only in libraries. Newspapers are often used by researchers and historians, but they are also popular among ordinary readers.

At present the periodika.lv internet portal of periodicals is used by 600-700 users every day, and is visited by readers from about 50 countries. Zogla said that in the future the portal will be integrated also in the education process, for example, preparing materials for history lessons.

LNB has been digitizing its materials since 1999.

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