What is e-rara?
e-rara is the portal for digitised printed works from Swiss libraries. These works range from books and maps to illustrated materials – from the earliest days of book printing to the 20th century.
e-rara pursues the following objectives:
- Coordinated digitisation of printed works from the 15th to the 20th century from Swiss libraries in accordance with uniform quality standards
- Central import into the portal of digital documents and bibliographical metadata
- Persistent DOI referencing of electronic documents
- Presentation of full texts, maps and illustrated materials on a common portal
Swiss printed works are digitised to some extent in collaboration with the digitisation activities of German libraries. e-rara makes its metadata available to international portals like Gallica and the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) run by Harvard University.
The portal was developed as part of the e-lib.ch: Elektronische Bibliothek Schweiz project and went online in 2010. It is run by Bibliothèque de Genève, ETH-Bibliothek, Universitätsbibliothek Basel, Universitätsbibliothek Bern and Zentralbibliothek Zürich. Many other libraries are contributing to the expansion of the portal with their stocks.
Who is e-rara addressed to?
As a national service, e-rara is addressed to:
- The general public
- Institutions that have their stocks digitised and wish to make them accessible in digital form to a broader audience via e-rara. All commemorative institutions whose stocks fit the e-rara profile may participate in e-rara.
Why use e-rara?
Added value for scientists and the general public
- Hand-picked selection of Swiss printed works from the 15th to the 20th century from various Swiss libraries
- A constantly growing, freely accessible portal of high-quality, high-resolution digital colour documents
- Centralised access from the search page, ability to carry out a search in all content available on e-rara
- Simple navigation inside digital documents using a clear structure and access by chapter
- Long-term availability of digital documents as a result of permanent links
- OAI-PMH interface for downloading and subsequent utilisation of standardised metadata including links to the digital documents
Added value for partner institutions
- Increased national and international visibility of the institution and what it has to offer
- individual subpage on e-rara
- integration of data into research portals like Gallica via standard interfaces (OAI-PMH)
- visitor numbers have grown continuously since the portal went online
- broad geographical range of visitors
- Digitisation, backup, operation: services provided by e-rara
- execution of the entire digitisation workflow from assessment of the condition of the stock to its going online
- safe and expert handling of analogue stock
- professional technical management of the portal and its content
- direct import of metadata from library catalogues via standard interfaces (Z39.50)
- long-term backup of digital documents (PDF, JPEG) including persistent links
- transfer to partner institutions of masterfiles in TIFF format with bibliographical metadata and of structural data in METS-XML format
How does an institution participate in e-rara?
Subscribing to the service
- Establish contact via firstname.lastname@example.org for the purposes of initial clarification
- Initial costs, particularly technical configuration: CHF 500 to 6,000 (depending on services provided and type of template)
- Digitisation, input, data import: on request (depending on material and the library to be digitised)
- Operation per year: about CHF 1.50 per 300-page book