ICCU | Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico - Digitisation and enhancement of ancient books
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Digitisation and enhancement of ancient books

In 2011, the Institute launched the Digitisation and enhancement of ancient books project funded by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers through the compulsory eight per thousand income tax return for the year 2010 (D.P.C.M. December 12, 2010 for the partitioning of the eight per thousand income tax return).
The project foresees the surveying and subsequent cataloguing and digitisation of ancient books with the aim of augmenting the catalogue of the National Library Service and the Internet Culturale Portal.
The project partners are: the National Central Library of Rome, the National Central Library of Florence, the National University Library in Turin, the Marciana National Library in Venice, the National Library in Naples and ICCU.
Other public state libraries are involved in the recovery of digitisation efforts carried out in past years.

Biblioteca nazionale centrale – Roma (National Central Library – Rome)
Cataloguing in SBN and digitisation of ancient books
The project aims to valorise the Library historical collections, mainly comprising books from the libraries of the religious corporations suppressed under the Law No. 1492 of  June 19, 1873. The  collections involved are: the library of the Franciscan monastery of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, and the French humanist Marc Antoine Muret’s (1526-1585) private library
Cataloguing.  The activity foresees  8,094 catalogue entries in SBN Ancient Book, related to the books belonging to the  Aracoeliana or Eborense Library, to be added to the volumes already catalogued.
Digitisation. The activity foresees the digitisation and the creation of metadata related to 90,000 scans from about 185 books belonging to the Bibliotheca Mureti collection.
The project foresees a further increasing of 124,560 scans related to other ancient books belonging to the Bibliotheca Mureti collection and to the digitisation of the Aracoeliana Eborense Library Catalogue.
Installation of the MagTeca in order to host the Library digital collections of the library, which is a new partner in Internet Culturale through OAI-PMH.

Biblioteca nazionale centrale - Firenze
(National Central Library - Florence)
The CADI Project - Cataloguing in SBN (A) and digitisation of ancient books
The project foresees the cataloguing and digitisation of a selection of ancient printed books among the rarest and most valuable belonging to some of the Library historical collections, as for example: Rossi Cassigoli, Targioni Tozzetti, Banco Rari, Landau Finaly, Guicciardini, as well as  other collections.
Cataloguing. The activity foresees  the cataloguing in SBN (A) of 12,700 ancient editions.
Digitisation. The activity foresees  the digitisation of 800 selected documents for a total amount of 80,000 scans, the production of metadataand their uploading on the digital display case of the National Central Library, which is a partner inI nternet Culturale through OAI-PMH.

Biblioteca nazionale Braidense - Milano (Braidense National Library - Milan)
Cataloguing in SBN and digitisation of ancient books
Due to its complexity, the project has been divided into four sub-projects:
  • Cataloguing in SBN (A) of 10,000 editions belonging to the Jesuit Library to be added to the volumes already catalogued, with the intent of reconstructing the entire collection
  • Cataloguing in Manus and digitisation of documents in Manzoni’s own handwriting and volumes held in the Manzoni hall, i. e. 1730 letters written by Manzoni himself relating to his own correspondence (the whole of the 800 of Manzoni’s letters and holders XVI-XVII-XVIII containing the related correspondence) and consequent digitisation; cataloguing in Manus of the three drafts of the I Promessi Sposi manuscript, creation of metadata related to 118 annotated volumes (3,090 pages with marginal notes, already digitised), including the three volumes of the 1827 edition with Manzoni’s own corrections; creation of metadata for the drafts of the I Promessi Sposi manuscript (for a total amount of 3,800 pages); digitisation and creation of metadata relating to the 7 volumes of the Vocabolario della Crusca with the author’s own marginal notes and to the two volumes of Vocabolario del Cherubini (about 4,900 image files).
  • Digitisation and creation of metadata relating to about 20,000 pages from illuminated manuscripts from the 12th up to the 15th century, and 29,000 new scans of music manuscript  librettos from the Ricordi historical archives.
  • Setting up of the Braidense MagTeca, uploading of the whole of the project digital items and retrieval of the Braidense newspaper and periodical library carried out thanks tothe EVA and GEA projects; retrieval of the Algarotti drama collection and the Foscoliana collection, in order to adapt the related  mags to the latest version, and the conversion of digital formats for abiding by standards. The library is already a partner in Internet Culturale, now through  OAI-PMH.
Biblioteca nazionale Marciana - Venezia (Marciana National Library - Venice)
RAME Project (RAriora Marciana Electronica)
The project foresees the cataloguing and digitisation of ancient editions, including  pamphlets and  proclamationsedited before 1830. Cataloguing. The activity foresees the cataloguing in SBN of 8,000 ancient editions.
Digitisation. The activity foresees: 1) digitisation  activity and producing of metadata related to 75,000 images; 2) publication on the Marciana MagTeca, which is already a partner in Internet Culturale through OAI-PMH.

Biblioteca nazionale universitaria - Torino (National University Library - Turin)
Cataloguing and digitizing of the library book collections
The project foresees the cataloguing and digitisation of ancient and modern books and of graphical documents as well.
Cataloguing. The activity foresees the cataloguing in SBN of 2,000 publications and 46 graphic documents. A revision of part of the intervention is currently ongoing.
Digitisation. The activity foresees: 1) completing the digitisation of the Mauro Foà (including  87 manuscripts and 66 printed musical works) and Renzo Giordano (including 167 manuscripts and 145 printed musical works) collections, which were partially digitized in 2004-05, with the revision also aimed at the project digitisation. The digitized material is added to the ICCU MagTeca.

Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III – Napoli (Vittorio Emanele III National Library – Naples)
Cataloguing and digitisation of ancient books
The project foresees the cataloguing in SBN of a part of the ancient collections preserved in the Sala Farnese library (in addition to what has already been realized) and the digitisation of the retrieval of the already existing digital archives.
Cataloguing. The activity foresees: 1) cataloguing in SBN  of about 12,000 editions, the core collection of the Sala Farnese library; 2) cataloguing in SBN  of 3,800 documents (with about 25,000 analytic titles) of the Neapolitan songs collection belonging to the the Lucchesi Palli library.
It is also foreseen the enlarging of cataloguing activities concerning 19,000 volumes belonging to the Library core collection (Sala Farnese).
Digitisation. The activity foresees the adding of metadata to the existing files concerning 43,000 images of text and sheet music related to Neapolitan songs. They will be added to the local digital display case, a new partner in Internet Culturale.

ICCU – Valorisation of the SBN Index 
Cataloguing in SBN of EDIT16 data
The project foresees the transfer to SBN of about 10,000 records from the EDIT16 – National census of the Italian 16th century editions  database. Some discrepancies in the records processingwithin the two databases require some preliminary activities before the records can migrate to SBN.
Cataloguing. Pre-migration activities include: 1) double-checking of particular types of EDIT16 data: examination of records related to multi-volume works or works with variants in order  to ensure the compliance with the equivalent SBN records, to be realized  before the activities related to the preventive importing in SBN are carried out;  2) Examination of authority records: Authority Control activities in order to eliminate ambiguity from EDIT16/SBN authority records; 3) analysis of the reports produced by the SBN import software: comparison of EDIT16 records with similar SBN records in order to verify the data matching.

LTO tapes refreshing
From the first digital project on music and retrieval of its contents, together with adapting of images and solving  of metadata errors .
Recovery of the pre-unification serials  project
The collection was put together by ICCU in 2004-05, and stored on an obsolete server. Metadata related to  862 serials  and 460,000 images were  extracted and examined. At the end of the activity the results were uploaded into the ICCU MagTeca and published in Internet Culturale.

Italian Music Network (Rete della Musica Italiana - ReMI)
Due to financial reasons, the server that stored records and images from the Ricordi historical archive had to be shut down. The contents of the ReMI database were mapped on the MAG schema and standard metadata were realized and uploaded into the ICCU MagTeca and published in Internet Culturale.

Recovery of digital collections from state libraries
In 2010, the Digitisation Services Office analysed the report on the digital output carried out by state libraries by comparing the Internet Culturale data with those stored in the Michael website and through a questionnaire submitted to libraries, thus pointing out  that over 50% of the digitisation projects completed as of June 2010 were not available to Internet Culturale. The analysis showed that the lack of worked out  metadata makes such digitisation projects useless in terms of their availability online.
ICCU carried out the acquiring of such digitisation efforts and recovered them on a HD, expressly purchased by the Institute for the project and also for the off-line preservation of the project contents once it is over. In general terms, the activity – which is carried out in cooperation with the librarians from the institutions owning the documents – includes the generation of descriptive, administrative and management metadata, their acquisition on the ICCU MagTeca and their harvesting through the use of OAI-PMH for their publication in Internet Culturale.
List of participating libraries:
  • Turin, Royal Library (graphical material, mss.)
  • Turin, National University Library (DVDs, mss.)
  • Pavia, University Library (Posters from the  Fraschini Theatre, Milan State proclamations, mss.)
  • Padova, University Library (Naval drawings, mss. and rare books, and 14th-15th century musical fragments.)
  • Genoa, University Library (serials, mss., maps)
  • Parma, Palatina Library (mss. on DVS, DiMuSe)
  • Modena, Estense University Library (Muratori’s correspondence, opera librettos, graphic material)
  • Pisa, University Library (Ferrucci, Grandi and Rossellini correspondence, Rossellini’s drawings of ancient Egypt, botanical mss.)
  • Lucca, State Library (Lucchesini mss. and other precious manuscripts)
  • Florence, Riccardiana Library (graphic material, mss.)
  • Florence, Marucelliana Library (graphic material)
  • Rome, Angelica Library(Opera librettos, graphic material)
  • Rome, Vallicelliana Library (DVDs containing rare and valuable materials)
  • Rome, Casanatense Library (ancient books, the serial “Cracas”)
  • Rome, National Central Library (music mss.)
  • Rome, Modern and Contemporary History Library (Digima graphic material)
  • Grottaferrata, Abbazia Library (mss.)
  • Cosenza, National Library (opera librettos).
Recovery of GeoWeb digital display case and upload into the Marciana MagTeca
In collaboration with the Marciana Library, and in addition to other projects funded through the six national libraries, data from GEOWEB (extraction of data, revision of metadata) will be recovered and uploaded into the Marciana MagTeca, already a partner in Internet Culturale with the use of OAI-PMH.

For more information: Daniela Napoletano - Laura Ciancio
Last update: 13.10.2016