2006: Long-term Strategic Concepts

Within the Austrian National Library’s first mass digitisation project ANNO (AustriaN Newspapers Online), historical daily newspapers have been digitised on a large-scale basis. The Austrian National Library had set the ambitious goal for itself to provide 10 million pages by the year 2011 in a “digital reading room”, which today it already comprises more than 20 million pages. Further schemes include ALEX, a web portal for historical legal and law texts, digitisation projects for historical portraits from the library’s picture archives and collection of prints, for more than 8,000 incunabula, for analogue audio-visual media, and for the papyri, as well as a project facilitating the finding of component texts originally contained in compilations (IVSCAN).

The primary goal as to the optimisation of catalogues comprised the installation of a user-friendly and search-machine-based search-all function for the library’s complete holdings. In what was the most comprehensive sub-project, the previously separate printed-book catalogues for the years 1501–1929, 1930–91, and 1992– have been merged in a universal database.

Long-term archiving refers to the permanent storage of digital data media. Important steps towards the fulfilment of the tasks involved have been taken in terms of both organisation and technology through the establishment of a special department and the purchase and development of pertinent archiving software. Moreover, the 2009 Amendment to the Media Law established the legal prerequisites for web archiving.

All of the areas of operation mentioned have been continued systematically in the two subsequent strategic periods and complemented by further strategic focal points.

A major step forward in terms of the digitisation of the library’s holdings was successfully taken in 2010 with the project ABO (Austrian Books Online). In collaboration with Google, the complete copyright-free holdings of printed books (roughly 600,000 volumes from the years 1501 to c. 1870) have been digitised and made accessible free of charge on the Internet by the year 2018.  

Within the project AKON, 75,000 historical picture postcards from around the globe have been put online and geo-referenced.

Important future-oriented themes also include: linked open data, crowdsourcing, digital humanities, digital editions, and the creation of a central digital repository for all of the digitised objects.