Tiles on the homepage, like Pinterest, and the ability to share content on Facebook, create your own library, and download high resolution scans – the new portal of the National Library is now the most modern digital library in the world. Start: today at 1 pm....
Established in 2006, the portal has already digitized more than 130,000 publications from the resources of the National Library, 70,000 of which are in the public domain. To date, these materials include books, manuscripts, periodicals, ephemera, prints, drawings, photographs, postcards, pictures, notes and maps. All of these treasures are available for free and at any time, all from the comfort of home. Now access to all this content will become even easier.
On Thursday, Tomasz Makowski, executive director of the National Library, will launch the new version of the portal page promptly at 1 pm. As he explains:
This is revolutionary, a complete change in the philosophy of sharing the collections. We do not just keep them anymore, we share them. Culture is our common property and if it is not protected by copyright, it must be widely available.
The new version of the portal was, from the start, conceived with the latest technologies in mind – the needs of today’s users and their expectations of functions based on the leading social networks and search engines. The result is a homepage that resembles an array of social networking sites – like Pinterest. Every day the site will present selections from the most interesting, valuable collections of the National Library – gems chosen from thousands of digitized objects. From here, visitors will be able to begin their search – browsing the vast collection with the aid of filters or using their own keywords.
The creators of the new version of Polona also have announced a number of additional features for working with the collection:
- Better zoom (comparable only with the Art Project by Google) – prints will be able to be enlarged several times without loss of quality
- The ability to save objects to personal collections (“My Collection”)
- Bookmark sites, to quickly return to pages of interest
- The ability to store notes and export records to specialized programs (Evernote)
- Users will be able to create their own libraries
- Improved search engine, which was previously difficult to navigate
Sharing – another essential feature in the age of social networking – has to be intuitive and the new site offers users the option of integrating their accounts with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Polona will also host its own blog. The Review of the National Digital Library will feature popular texts written by specialists, as well as videos and texts from enthusiasts. Developers say they want to open up a new internet environment – Polona already has a Facebook fanpage. “We put together what is new with what has historic value.”
Polona will not slow down their pace of digitization. In Makowski's words:
Thanks to modern programs and scanners, two thousand pages are digitized every day. At the end of the year, we hope Polona will contain around 330 thousand objects. The National Library has a collection of 9 million objects, but not everything can be scanned and working with large-format maps and audiovisual materials takes time and specialized tools.
The official implementation of the new portal will be held on Thursday the 20th of June 20 at 1 pm. Earlier in the day, at noon, the National Library will hold a conference with Director of the National Library Tomasz Makowski and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski. The date also marks the celebration of National Library Day, now in its 85th year.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza, press materials
Edited by mg 19.06.2013
Translated by aa 20.06.2013