Digitization and cataloguing of printed books published in German-speaking countries in the 18th century (VD 18) – 2nd main phase

FundingGerman Research Foundation (DFG)
Second main phase01/01/2016 – 31/01/2020
Project partners 
  • Lower Saxon State and University Library Göttingen (lead)
  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
  • Pilot libraries of the VD 18: State Library Berlin (SBB), Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB), State and University Library Göttingen (SUB), State and University Library Halle (ULB) and the Institute for Historical and Cultural Information Processing at the University of Cologne
  • Library networks BSZ, BVB, GBV and HBZ
  • Currently, 21 libraries take part in the VD 18 project.
Contact addressesManagers of local offices and contact persons:
Dr. Claudia Fabian
Michael Beer
Dr. Claudia Bubenik

Project team members of the local office in Munich:
Dr. Christine Erfurth, Claudia Reiter, Dr. Robert Staudigl

The objective of the project funded by the German Research Foundation is the cooperative compilation of the retrospective national bibliography for the 18th century, in continuation of the national bibliographic projects VD 16 and VD 17. All printed works published in the German language or in the German-speaking countries between 1701 and 1800 are to be entered in this register. Every edition is to be catalogued in the respective network environment of the participating libraries on a uniform bibliographic level, linked up with a full digital copy and provided with a VD 18 standard number.

During a three-year pilot phase from 2009 to 2012, common standards and workflows were developed for the cataloguing and digitization, which were applied as of 2013 in a first part of the main phase. The second part of the main phase started in 2016, in which further monographs and periodicals have been catalogued and digitized on a national bibliographic level.

The project poses particular challenges and breaks new ground with respect to the cataloguing and digitization. For the first time, it is not the complete collection of the libraries that is catalogued, but only associated editions in a targeted manner, so as to be able to catalogue the currently expected around 600,000 titles of the VD 18 within a reasonable period. The cataloguing for the VD 18 is carried out in the union catalogues, with the data then being exchanged via the procedure of cooperative re-cataloguing. The partnership between the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and Google plays a special role in the digitization of the historical holdings. A large part of the titles relevant for the VD 18 is digitized by Google. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is thus going to re-catalogue its complete holdings for the VD 18 in order to ensure the comprehensive use of the provided full digital copies for the VD 18.

Further synergies arise from the cooperation within the framework of the academy project of the Göttingen Academy, "Gelehrte Journale" (scholarly journals). Since April 2015, all reviews of the works held by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek processed in this project have been edited systematically for the VD 18.

The VD 18 database currently includes around 178,000 monographs and 3,300 journal titles.

VD 18 database
Further information