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European Heritage in the Jagiellonian Library: Digital Authoring of the Berlin Collections. Core Facility

The DiHeLib flagship project is coordinated by two Jagiellonian University units: Faculty of Philology and Jagiellonian LIbrary. The responsibility of the project manager is held by Professor Jadwiga Kita-Huber.

The project consists of two platforms.

The Archival and Philological Platform (Platform A) involves researchers from many fields: mainly philologists specialising in various languages (German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Latin, and others), but also historians, philosophers and librarian-archivists. The aim of the platform's work is content-related processing of documents belonging to the Autograph Collection from the former Prussian State Library in Berlin, housed in the Jagiellonian Library.

On the basis of the literature on the subject and their own examinations, the researchers identify the documents within the individual units (letters, literary works, notes, personal and historical documents, and iconographic documents) and then arrange them according to a unified scheme and describe them. The description includes identifying the author of the document, the sender and addressee in the case of letters, dating, identifying the place of origin of the manuscript and, where possible, reconstructing the affiliation to earlier collections taking into account historically assigned book signatures. As far as possible, researchers try to identify unknown individuals, and establish missing chronological and topographical data.

At the same time, a database of persons and places is being created, allowing for the unambiguous identification of figures who often appear under different pseudonyms, have different variants of names and surnames as well as taking into account historically changing names of places. In the future, this database will serve as a search tool, linking together documents related to the same people and places. After content-based processing, the description of the document is entered into an appropriate spreadsheet, which organises the metadata according to established standards to create a comprehensive catalogue of documents and thus integrate the entire Autograph Collection into scholarly circulation.

Platform A is coordinated by Professor Jadwiga Miszalska.

The scope of tasks of the Digitisation and Infrastructure Platform (Platform B) includes, on the one hand, the provision and development of the technical infrastructure necessary for the project and the competences associated with its use, and on the other hand, the conduct of the entire process of digitizing documents belonging to the Autograph Collection of the former Prussian State Library in Berlin housed in the Jagiellonian Library.

The first group of tasks refers to an analysis of the functionalities used in the Jagiellonian Library and the tools available on the market (e.g. scanners with software), as well as systems and solutions for managing the digitizers. It means above all cognitive and conceptual work to create sustainable and secure solutions for the management of the project's products, including their integration into the Library's information environment, efficient sharing and long-term storage. The second group of tasks, on the other hand, concerns the design and effective execution of the entire process of digitizing the Autograph Collection. The process ranges from the controlled and secure retrieval of documents from specially protected rooms, through their eventual preservation, up to the production of scans and publication in digital space in conjunction with the metadata and systems being developed within the project to enable access to the collections held at the Jagiellonian Library.

The first group of tasks requires the collaboration of a number of specialists from different libraries and contacts with external operators. The composition of the team is dynamic and changes depending on the specific issue under analysis. The core consists of selected staff from the Manuscript Section, heads of the Reprography Section, the Jagiellonian Digital Library Section and the Preservation Section, as well as staff managing the IT infrastructure, the digitizing processes and the library's digital resources as well as the ALMA library system. Once the core part of the conceptual phase has been completed and the digitizing process has been launched, a more stable team composition is expected.

Platform B is coordinated by Professor Remigiusz Sapa.