Cooperation with Stanford University Libraries

Michael Keller with cooperation agreement | © Stanford University Libraries
Michael Keller with cooperation agreement | © Stanford University Libraries

Two of the internationally leading academic libraries are going to cooperate: The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the Stanford University Libraries have signed an agreement on enhancing cooperation in the fields of digitization, linked data and innovative information technologies.

Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and Michael Keller, Director of the Stanford University Libraries, signed the cooperation agreement, which is welcomed by Dr. Ludwig Spaenle, the Bavarian State Minister of Education and Culture, Science and the Arts: "This cooperation agreement brings together two libraries which belong to the world's leading institutions, not only in the field of digitization. Bavaria as a location of scholarship and science will benefit significantly from the future joint projects. The joint projects also encompass the entire spectrum of capabilities of modern academic libraries, however, reaching from expert knowledge with respect to the restoration of important manuscripts and early printed works up to the digital provision of images and texts."

Both libraries are research and universal libraries of world renown: This is illustrated by their role in "Google Books" among other things. The Staatsbibliothek and Stanford form part of currently 30 libraries worldwide that are having their copyright-free holdings digitized by Google. Over 3.2 million works have been provided by the two libraries, representing more than a quarter of all contents made available by "Google Books". The digitized works can be retrieved online around the world and free of charge.

Dr. Klaus Ceynowa with cooperation agreement | © BSB
Dr. Klaus Ceynowa with cooperation agreement | © BSB

The two libraries are also leading participants in the international project "IIIF". "IIIF" stands for International Image Interoperability Framework, which will set new standards for the provision of digital images and for data presentation on the Internet. The objective is to provide scholars worldwide with a uniform and high-quality access to high-resolution images for their research. Stanford initiated the project together with Harvard University. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is the first library in the German language area to participate in this seminal venture.

The cooperation also envisages enhanced and strategic cooperation in the field of linked data. The aim is to enhance innovative technologies that link up information sources of institutions of cultural heritage and knowledge management worldwide.

Further central points of cooperation are the areas of cataloguing, restoration and collection preservation, as well as digital archiving. An international exchange program of librarians and common further professional training programs round off the cooperation project.

"Stanford University Libraries is the academic library that is docked directly to Silicon Valley – and this highly innovative environment is obvious. We highly appreciate that with Stanford, we have a strong partner on our side with whom we share the same vision of the library of the future and with whom we will join forces in working towards this goal," Dr. Ceynowa appreciated.

Keller added: "There are so many innovative approaches that the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and Stanford University Libraries have in common, and there are projects guided by a shared responsibility for librarianship and library-related action in the 21st century that complement each other extraordinarily well. The cooperation with our colleagues in Munich will support and advance our work here in Stanford thanks to the synergy effects from which both sides will benefit."

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