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IMPACT

Duration of project: 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2012
 
 
Within the framework of the programme i2010, supporting the establishment of a European information society, the European Commission has started the Digital Libraries Initiative, in order to further digitisation and improve access to Europe's historical and scientific heritage.
 
The transformation of printed works or of their digital images into electronic, fully searchable texts plays a central role. This transformation process of image files to full texts takes place with the aid of special programmes, so-called OCR software. OCR stands for optical character recognition, thus the automatic recognition of characters contained in digital images.
 
OCR programmes already yield very good results in the field of modern printed works and fonts. However, today's OCR software can cope only to a very limited extent with older printed works, historical spelling variants, earlier fonts as well as complex layouts.
 
IMPACT stands for IMProving Access to Text. Accordingly, it is a main goal of the project to improve OCR applications with a view to recognising texts contained in historical printed works, which are present mostly in the form of gothic print or similar fonts. Furthermore, in the course of the project processes will be developed for employing the newly developed tools in a broad variety of digitisation processes. Finally, the technologies will be complemented by documentation and examples of use and will be made available on an internet platform. Thus, the necessary basis will be created for the mass digitisation programmes required for extending the European Digital Library.
 
A total of 26 institutions are working on this project, which is steered by the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague. Collaboration is taking place among national and state libraries, linguistic research institutions, digitisation centres as well as companies of the relevant software industry branch.
 
In the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek the work on the project IMPACT is coordinated by the Munich Digitization Center (MDZ).
 
 
Contact:
Department of Acquisition, Collection Development and Cataloguing
Munich Digitization Center (MDZ) / Digital Library
Tel.: +49 89 28638-2890 oder 28638-2295
Fax: +49 89 28638-2672
 impact@bsb-muenchen.de 
 www.muenchener-digitalisierungszentrum.de