Volunteer and tech power bringing new ideas to life at the University Library Belgrade

KOSTIĆ, Milena and VUKSAN, Vesna (2017) Volunteer and tech power bringing new ideas to life at the University Library Belgrade. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 101 - Genealogy and Local History, with Asia and Oceania and Information Technology.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Volunteer and tech power bringing new ideas to life at the University Library Belgrade

The University Library in Belgrade treasures an invaluable collection of legacies of Serbian academia – scientists, professors, writers, historians, diplomats. These legacies abound in important scientific materials, rare editions but also contain a lot of data such as letters which testify to the personal lives of people and the local history. Such materials have been recognized as fruitful for genealogical research as they uncover details about predecessors and ancestors of the people who shaped social and academic development of Serbia. Having only one librarian specialized in digitization of old and rare materials, the library needed to recruit more: this is when volunteer energy came to the scene. After providing the appropriate equipment, the Library recruited digitally-curious LIS students. It was a joint and successful endeavour throughout 2015-2016 which resulted in digitized and searchable 400.000 online historical newspaper pages, plus 30.000 pages of legacy collections materials. Once online, the collections have become very popular among humanities and social sciences researchers who have started in-depth analyses of materials and have published their results in a book about the local history of the 18th century only to reveal new and peculiar facts about the period. Apart from achieving such publicity in the popular history field, the University Library has been organizing physical and virtual exhibitions spiced with the cutting-edge technology, an illuminated display cabinet, especially suitable for presenting fragile materials.

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