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European Digital Library : Commission calls on Member States to contribute to the European Digital Library

(25/08/2006) The European Commission urged EU Member States on 25 August to set up large-scale digitisation facilities, so as to accelerate the process of getting Europe's cultural heritage on line via the European digital library. In a Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation, it calls on Member States to act in various areas, ranging from copyright questions to the systematic preservation of digital content in order to ensure long term access to the material.

"Our aim is to arrive at a real European digital library, a multilingual access point to Europe’s digital cultural resources" Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media

“Our aim is to arrive at a real European digital library, a multilingual access point to Europe’s digital cultural resources”, commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Reding. “It will allow, for example, Finnish citizens to easily find and use digital books and images from libraries, archives and museums in Spain, or a Dutchman to find historical film material from Hungary online”.

At present only a fraction of the cultural collections in the Member States is digitised. A common effort is necessary to speed up the digitisation and online accessibility of the material in order to arrive at the necessary critical mass. With the Recommendation just adopted, the Commission invites the Member States to take concrete steps in this direction.

Additional Information

Commission Press Room: IP/06/1124

See also: The European Digital Library: Frequently Asked Questions

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