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Digitization Day : Programme, Speakers and Presentations

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Summaries of the presentations are available on the Le regard de Janus blog.

09:30-10:30 - Session One - Project Management: making decisions

Moderated by David Chikvaidze, Chief Librarian, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Shedding Light on "hidden collections": making the decision to digitize

Brie Grey-Noble, Library and Archives Service, International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, Switzerland)

Through deliberate selection, assessment, and presentation ITU has been able to respond to user needs by increasing access to some of the most frequently requested items in its collections by providing high-quality, authoritative digital versions of key documents on its History of ITU Portal ( Unlike mass digitization, which aims to digitize a large number of documents relatively quickly and indiscriminately, the in-house digitization strategy implemented by ITU Library and Archives has been more discerning in its approach. In addition to scanning our documents, a great deal of time and effort has also been devoted to providing contextual information and robust metadata in order to ensure that ITU’s rich institutional history is presented as comprehensively as possible. This presentation will examine some of the challenges we faced based on our decision to critically digitize our collections in-house, as well as discuss some of the advantages of this approach when digitizing unique collections of documents.

Brie Grey-Noble has worked at the International Telecommunication Union since 2009. Prior to joining ITU, she worked in a variety of library settings including regional government, academic, and public libraries. She holds a Master in Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia (2008).

Anita Hollier, CERN Archive, CERN: European Organization for Nuclear Research (Geneva, Switzerland)
Digitisation of CERN’s historical documents has so far focused on three main projects, each chosen  with the aim of adding maximum value but involving quite different issues and approaches. Records targeted include the documents of the CERN Council and the scientific archives of Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel laureate 1945). Collaboration with the CERN Library to fill gaps in their online series has also contributed to CERN’s efforts on the 'green road' to Open Access.
Anita Hollier - Archivist at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) since 1999; previously senior archivist of British Petroleum plc. MA in Archive Studies from University College, London (1991).


11:00-13:00 - Session Two - Collaboration: working together for greater results

 Moderated by Basma Makhlouf Shabou, Professeure d’archivistique, Haute école de gestion de Genève (HEG)

Digitizing the Swiss press: public-private partnerships / Numérisation de la presse suisse : partenariats public-privé (This presentation will be given in English)

Genevieve Clavel-Merrin, Bibliothèque nationale suisse (Berne, Switzerland)

The Swiss National Library’s digitization strategy places a high priority on the digitization of the Swiss press for two reasons: on the one hand its users are eager to consult this type on publication on line, especially in order to benefit from the rich access points and search options; on the other, digitization helps preserve the original documents,  while making them available for intensive use. In order to manage rights’ questions, avoid duplicate work, share costs and find new ways to finance these activities, the NL has developed a public-private partnership model with the rights’ holders i.e. the publishers, and cantonal libraries or archives. The presentation will explain the structure of these agreements and provide examples of current and  past projects.

Genevieve Clavel has worked at the Swiss National Library since 1998, in charge of National and International Cooperation, ensuring project coordination and cooperation with other institutions both at a national and international level. In her previous posts, she has been a consultant, worked for the network of libraries using the SIBIL software and for the Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne. She is a member of the IFLA Governing Board and Professional Committee (2011-2013). A graduate in French and Library Science (University College of Wales Aberystwyth), she is a Chartered Member of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, GB), and holds a Master in Intercultural Communication from the University of Lugano.

Numériser la presse suisse est une priorité de la Bibliothèque nationale suisse (BN) dans sa stratégie de numérisation pour deux raisons : d'une part, ses clients attendent avec impatience de pouvoir consulter ce type de publication en ligne, en particulier pour la richesse des possibilités de recherche offertes par cet accès ; d'autre part, la numérisation contribue à préserver les originaux, exclus de la consultation, tout en permettant un usage intensif de ces documents. Afin de trouver des solutions aux questions des droits, d’éviter du travail à double, de partager les coûts et de trouver de nouvelles sources de financement, la Bibliothèque nationale suisse a mis sur pied un modèle de partenariat public-privé avec les éditeurs eux-mêmes,détenteurs des droits, et les bibliothèques cantonales ou archives. La présentation expliquera la structure des accords et donnera des exemples des projets en cours ou achevés.
Genevieve Clavel travaille à la Bibliothèque nationale suisse depuis 1998 à l’État-major, Coopération nationale et internationale, assurant la coordination de projets et la collaboration avec d’autres institutions au niveau national et international.  Auparavant, elle a travaillé comme consultante, ainsi que pour le Réseau  des bibliothèques utilisant le logiciel SIBIL, et pour la Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne. Elle est membre du Conseil d’administration et du Comité professionnel de l’IFLA (2011-2013).  Elle est diplômée en français et bibliothéconomie de l'University College of Wales Aberystwyth, et membre agréée de CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, GB) et a un mastère en communication interculturelle de l'Université de Lugano.

From Individual Solutions to Generic Tools: Digitization at the Max Planck Society

Andrea Kulas and Yu Lu, Max Planck Digital Library (Munich, Germany)

In Digitization Lifecycle several Max Planck Institutes are focusing on the development of an online application for editing, enriching and searching digitized works from holdings at their libraries. The major challenge hereby lies in the balancing act between individual requirements and the need for generic tools. The presentation provides insights into the experiences gained within this collaboration project on issues such as data formats and generic functionalities.

Andrea Kulas is currently Project Coordinator for the eHumanities project Digitization Lifecycle at the Max Planck Digital Library in Munich. After she majored in Germany in linguistics with a minor in information science, she spent one year as a research scientist in the comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. She worked, among others, as project manager in an European collaborative project focused on Semantic Web Technologies and in the Strategy Department of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

Lu Yu implements web solution for the cooperative Project Digitalzation Lifecycle. She received a B.S degree in China and M.S. degree at the Paderborn University in Germany in computer science department. She has been working on JEE Projects since 2007 and since April 2010 as Java Developer at Max Planck Digital Library in Munich.

e-codices - Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits en Suisse: expériences de la pratique

Christoph Flüeler and Ramona Fritschi, e-codices, Institut d’etudes médiévales de l’Université de Fribourg (Fribourg, Switzerland)

Depuis 2005, e‐codices, Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits en Suisse, met à disposition sur internet, en libre accès, des manuscrits choisis de l’époque médiévale et moderne (www.e‐ Les reproductions complètes de haute qualité sont créées dans des ateliers de numérisation sur une table photographique spéciale et selon des directives de numérisation très strictes. Elles sont liées à des descriptions scientifiques qui sont rendues utilisables par une base de données interopérable, qui forme ainsi une plateforme pour la recherche sur les manuscrits.

Prof. Dr. Christoph Flüeler est professeur en séjour de recherche à l’Université de Fribourg en Suisse (Sciences auxiliaires de l’Histoire et Latin médiéval). Il a initié le projet e-codices et le dirige.

Ramona Fritschi a fait des études de lettres à l’Université de Fribourg en Suisse et travaille en tant que collaboratrice scientifique au projet e-codices.

Numériser un patrimoine d’exception : VIATIMAGES, une bibliothèque virtuelle d’illustrations de voyages anciens.

Daniela Vaj, Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Faculté des lettres, Centre des sciences historique de la culture (SHC) (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Le projet VIATICALPES s’est donné pour tâche de rassembler et étudier l’iconographie des
récits de voyages anciens (XVe-XIXe siècles) dans l’arc alpin grâce à la collaboration de six bibliothèques patrimoniales suisses qui numérisent les documents choisis par l’équipe VIATICALPES.  Les images et les textes sont mis à disposition de tout public en ligne via la base VIATIMAGES, réalisée dans le cadre de ce projet. La présentation abordera différents aspects de ce travail : collaboration avec les bibliothèques, gestion des droits, schémas de métadonnées, création du vocabulaire contrôlé multilingue, géo-localisation, diffusion et valorisation des documents numérisés.

Daniela Vaj - Historienne et spécialiste en information documentaire, depuis de nombreuses années elle poursuit une double activité de chercheuse en sciences humaines et de bibliothécaire-documentaliste. Auteur de nombreuses publications scientifiques, elle dirige actuellement la bibliothèque de l’Institut universitaire d’histoire de la médecine au CHUV et est responsable de recherche à l’Université de Lausanne. Dans cette dernière fonction, elle administre la base de données VIATIMAGES et coordonne le projet VIATICALPES financé par le Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique et rattaché au Centre des sciences historiques de la culture de la Faculté des lettres.

14:00-15:30 - Session Three - Providing access: facing challenges

Moderated by Grant Mitchell, Manager, Library and Archives Unit, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Digitization and copyright

​Lise McLeod, WIPO Library, World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland)

When digitizing material, the copyright of the creator needs to be considered.  This presentation will cover the practical aspects of digitization and copyright as learned through the WIPO Library experience.

With the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since 1996, Lise McLeod joined the WIPO Library in 2006.  Prior experience includes another UN agency in Geneva, a law library in a management consulting firm and a municipal government library in Canada.  Accessing historical material has always been a focus of interest.

Post-scanning: the real work starts now

Richelle Van Snellenberg and Vesa Sivunen, Bureau of Library and Information Services, International Labour Organization (Geneva, Switzerland)

Once you have created hundreds or thousands of digital objects, you still need to organize and describe them for your users. When we launched a project to create a small digital collection, we treated the digital documents like any other, using new software but applying our established cataloguing and indexing standards. We will share experiences of our struggle between following the rules and developing a new tool suitable for today’s users. 
Richelle Van Snellenberg is responsible for information management at ILO Library. She started her ILO career many years ago as reference librarian and later worked as training and technical cooperation librarian. Since 2007 she has worked in collaboration with colleagues in Geneva and around the world on different projects related to digitization and presentation of ILO publications.
Vesa Sivunen currently develops and maintains the library information systems at ILO. He has about 20 years in the field of document handling, electronic publishing and libraries. Previous work experience mostly from CERN and International Organization for Standardization.

Usability evaluation of a digital library - Case study ""

Eliane Blumer, Haute école de gestion de Genève (Geneva, Switzerland)

In this talk we will present the potential of usability evaluations for digital libraries. After giving some introductive information we will describe in detail the methodology of a user acceptance test in combination with eye-tracking. Afterwards, we will illustrate the subject by presenting the results of a case study done for, the Swiss platform for digitized books.

Eliane Blumer received her B.Sc. diploma in Library & Information Science in 2011 at the Haute Ecole de Gestion in Geneva. She works as a librarian at the Bibliothèque de Genève as well as a scientific assistant at the HEG in the context of a research project dedicated to the usability of digital libraries.


16:00-17:00 - Session Four - Project management: sharing our experiences

Moderated by Jean-Daniel Zeller, Archiviste principal, Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève

International Bureau of Education:  Digital Library of National Education Reports on the Development of Education

Ruth Creamer, IBE Documentation Centre, UNESCO International Bureau of Education (Geneva, Switzerland)

This unique collection of national education reports from 1932 to 2008 was digitized to facilitate education researchers and specialists around the world. The paper describes the origins of the collection as well as the problems encountered and solutions found in carrying out the project.

Ruth Creamer has been Head of the Documentation Centre at the UNESCO International Bureau of Education since 2004.  Prior to that she worked for the National Library Board in Singapore and the University of the Arts in London.

Numériser des livres anciens – Retour d’expérience du projet / Digitizing old Books – Learning from the project (Cette présentation sera donnée en français)

Alexis Rivier, Bibliothèque de Genève (Geneva, Switzerland)

Cette présentation s'intéresse à la mise en œuvre pratique d'un projet de numérisation collaboratif de livres anciens (le projet numérise en priorité des imprimés suisses du 16e s.). Elle met en évidence deux exigences contradictoires: d'un côté, la valeur importante des documents au plan patrimonial exige des mesures appropriées (sécurité, workflow, implication de l'atelier de restauration et sensibilisation des opérateurs); de l'autre une certaine vitesse de production doit être assurée pour obtenir une masse critique de documents numérisés.
Alexis Rivier est conservateur à la Bibliothèque de Genève, responsable de la bibliothèque numérique. Son expérience de l'informatisation des bibliothèques – des catalogues et bases de données à la numérisation – porte sur plus de vingt ans. Elle nourrit une réflexion qui s'exprime dans plusieurs volumes publiés par les éditions Electre – Cercle de la librairie, ainsi que dans un enseignement à l'Université de Genève, puis à la Haute école de gestion de Genève. Sa dernière publication est Mémento de l'information numérique, mars 2012, co-écrit avec Jean-Philippe Accart.

This presentation concerns the implementation of a cooperative digitization project for old books (the project treats primarily 16th-century Swiss publications). It emphasizes contradictory requirements: on the one hand, the value of heritage documents needs appropriate measures regarding security, workflow, involvement of the conservation workshop and staff training; on the other hand, a certain productivity ratio is required in order to obtain a critical mass of digitized documents.

Alexis Rivier is curator at the Bibliothèque de Genève, responsible for the Digital Library Department. He has a two decades of experience in library automation – from databases to digitization. This experience feeds reflections expressed in several books published by the French publisher Electre – Cercle de la librairie. His most recent publication, issued in March 2012, is Mémento de l'information numérique co-written with Jean-Philippe Accart. He teaches at the University of Geneva and the Geneva School of Business Administration.