Sunday, October 28, 2007

Major Digitization Project Underway at Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (BSB)

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (BSB) holds the largest collection of incunabula world wide, which currently comprises 9708 editions in nearly 20.000 copies. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has granted funding for a complete digitization of the collection.

Over the coming years, one copy of each 15th-century edition held in the BSB will be digitzed. It is intended to start digitization with the ca. 1150 incunabula in German and the ca. 680 editions of which the BSB holds the sole surviving copy in a German library. After that, books printed in the German-speaking countried in the 15th century and books printed abroad will be digitized. Illustrations (mainly woodcuts) will be indexed with an iconographic classification system.

The digital reproductions will be made accessible through the electronic catalogue BSB-Ink and other databases (e.g. OPAC, union catalogues). Currently, BSB-Ink online already provides access to digital reproductions of nearly 700 incunabula, of which ca. 540 are broadsides. A list of digitized incunabula (by shelfmark only) is accessible via the Index Search.