The Biblioteka Narodowa (The Polish National Library) located in Waszawie, Poland was founded after Poland’s independence in 1918 and opened in 1930. The library and its contents suffered considerable losses during the German occupation in 1944. “The library collects books, journals, electronic and audiovisual publications published in the territory of Poland, as well as Polonica published abroad. It is the most important humanities research library, the main archive of Polish writing and the state centre of bibliographic information about books. It also plays a significant role as a research facility and is an important methodological center for other Polish libraries.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Library_of_Poland
As the research institution and main archive of Polish literature, the library shares all digitized material through the Polona Academica website.
Book2net has been working cooperatively with the Polish National Library since October 2016. The team from The Biblioteka Narodowa was looking for a partner to carry out a major planned digitization project referred to as “Patrimonium – Digitalization and Access to the Polish National Heritage from the Collections of the National Library and the Jagiellonian Library” .
The Biblioteka Narodowa has been very active in the field of digitization for many years and makes its resources accessible in electronic form. The implementation of this new major project represents an enormous quantitative and qualitative advance in digital access to the most valuable and oldest collections of Polish literature.
This project consists of a very diverse array of 652,000 objects. The most valuable group comprises the collection of 305 copies of old atlases, including a valuable Strasbourg edition of the Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy from 1522.
The digitization of these valuable treasures posed a particular challenge for book2net as a developer and manufacturer of scanning technology. A solution had to be found that is particularly gentle and conservative, but at the same time offers the highest possible resolution so that the digital copies also meet the requirements of scientific research. In addition, the desired system needed to deliver high productivity due to the tight project timeframe. This was a challenge that book2net was happy to take on.
Book2net responded by developing specialized A1 scanners that exceeded the expectations in terms of quality, productivity and variability. Freely selectable setting parameters allow individual recording positions as well as standardized, productive work processes. The variable angle adjustment of the camera position guarantees exact scan results in the book fold and overlap area. LED lighting concept (UV / IR free) ensures excellent illumination. V-book support can be precisely set at an angle of 80 ° to 120 ° and combined with a corresponding V-glass wedge.
Under intense pressure, the book2net team began to manufacture, compare and test the required devices so that they could be delivered within just three months. All devices were installed, checked and calibrated on site within eight days. The employees were then trained in how to use the devices by the book2net team.
A total of 19 book2net systems (17 Lizard and 2 Dragon systems) were delivered to the national library and installed in April 2018. They have been in continuous operation ever since to meet the goals of the Patrimonium project. The book2net team is proud to have made a contribution to the digitization of unique and valuable cultural treasures in Poland so that they are available to a broader public as well as further scientific research. Click here to view some of the amazing scans that the book2net Lizard captured.