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A Digital Library in a Multilingual Environment

Presenter 1
Cor van der Meer
Fryske Akademy

Mercator is a network of three research and documentation centres dealing with the regional and minority languages which are spoken by more than forty million citizens of the European Union. The Mercator-Education centres started with a pilot project for the creation of a digital library on European Minority Languages with text, image and sound. The project is financed by the Royal Dutch Academy of Scientists. The pilot will take one year and will be carried out with Frisian digital material. The aim is to develop a digital library to index, classify and catalogue scientific sources concerning European minority languages and knowledge of and from academic researchers. The content will cover linguistics, sociolinguistics, literature, media, legislation, education, culture history and language policy. The pilot will serve as a development model for partners in other European linguistic communities.

This presentation will focus on some of the crucial issues of this project, like the creation of a user profile and contentplan. Also very important is the set of requirements and functionalities which should help to decide which type of applications or tools are necessary. Formats and standards have to be chosen for metadata, the repository, the publications, etc. Organisation is a crucial aspect, but also practical matters such as 'flexible' user interfaces are very important.

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