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Digitisation

According to the Danish Act on Legal Deposits (Lov om Pligtaflevering), the State and University Library has a special responsibility for audiovisual media collections and newspapers. As a result our digitisation activities focus on these materials.Back in the childhood of digitisation in the 1990s, the library was already experimenting with the digitisation of small, selected audio collections with a view to using them in a variety of partnership projects under the auspices of the "Kulturnet Danmark" project (CultureNet Denmark), for instance Dansk Lydhistorie (the Audio History of Denmark).

As a result of the allocation of tasks to major institutions of culture recommended in a report published by the Ministry of Culture and entitled Bevaring af kulturarven (Conservation of Cultural Heritage), in 2003 the State and University Library was asked to develop special competences with regard to the digitisation of sound recordings with a view to storing them for future generations, after which the library set up a digitisation team. The members of the team are specialists in internationally recognised standards and best practice for audio digitisation.

Most of the digitisation projects that have been carried out since 2003 have been funded by the Ministry of Culture’s UMTS pool, including the digitisation of extremely fragile parts of collections: for instance, reel recordings of Danish dialects and interviews with authors, as well as the Ruben Collection, which contains some of the oldest sound recordings in the world dating back to the 1890s, including phonograph recordings of famous Danish men and women of the past. A major collection of private phonograph recordings from the late 1800s/early 1900s is currently being digitised.

In other words, the digitisation activities and expertise of the State and University Library focus on the in-house digitisation of small, fragile audiovisual collections; while major digitisation projects such as the upcoming digitisation of 32 million newspaper pages are outsourced.