e-rara.ch is a national collaborative project forming part of the Swiss innovation and cooperation programme e-lib.ch: Swiss Electronic library. The project is run by the
Bibliothèque de Genève, the
ETH-Bibliothek Zurich, the
University Library of Basel, the
University Library of Bern and
Zurich Central Library.
The platform is hosted and operated by the ETH-Bibliothek.
A growing number of other libraries is participating and adding content by making their digitized books available on e-rara.ch. For an updated overview see the page Participating libraries.
The project is due to run from 2008 to the end of 2013. However, the web platform will continue to be available and to be developed further beyond these dates.
The technical basis for the platform is a software called
Visual Library, produced by
semantics GmbH and
Walter Nagel GmbH & Co. KG.
One of the main aims is to make 16th century Swiss prints held by Swiss libraries available online. This is being done partly in coordination with digitization activities of German libraries in the context of
VD 16. Other materials (incunabula, 17th to 19th century Swiss prints, books on specific subjects or maps) are being digitized in parallel.
The project not only aims at presenting old and rare books on a shared platform, it also involves coordinated digitization of these works. Necessary capacity and expertise has been built up in the partner libraries.