The challenge of making digitised European newspaper content available online

REILLY, Susan (2013) The challenge of making digitised European newspaper content available online. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 153 - Newspapers.

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Language: English (Original)
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The challenge of making digitised European newspaper content available online

Europeana Newspapers is a three year project with the aim of bringing Europeana Newspaper into Europeana, the main portal for digital cultural heritage in Europe. The project is working to bring newspaper content into Europeana in several ways. As well as the content which will be delivered by the project partners, additional content will be brought in from ‘associated partners’. These partners have been identified through a survey of 450 LIBER members, which was designed to provide an insight into the current state of digitised newspaper collections in Europe. What the survey revealed is that, though a large majority of libraries make their digitised content available for free, the extent of this availability is limited. Of the collections which had been digitised, 36% had received no OCR whatsoever. Of the remaining 64% that had OCR, only 36% had been made available in a way which exposed the full text to be searched or viewed by an end user. 13% of these were available in portals which allowed for faceted browsing or named entity extraction. The other challenge in terms of availability is the fear of breaching copyright. The most recent available content is over 70 years old, and for many libraries 140 years was the cut off point after which content was made fully available. For Europeana Newspapers to succeed in its aim of making European newspaper content available in Europeana it seems that it must address several key challenges including: 1. Convincing libraries to provide their collections to Europeana 2. Helping to increase the accessibility and availability of content by sharing best practice in newspaper digitisation methods 3. Providing a content browser to help expose newspaper content more effectively 4. Opening up a dialogue between libraries and rights holder in order to lower copyright barriers to making digitised newspapers available

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