The proposal for Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) from the Amsterdam University Press together with five European University Presses within the eContentplus Programme, has been selected for negotiations on funding. Agreements are expected this May and if the programme really gets funded, it is scheduled to start in September 2008.

Being the first programme of this kind it could be reshaping the world of scientific publishing:

“OAPEN intends to develop and implement an Open Access publication model for peer reviewed academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences. This Open Access publication model will also serve as a model in other scientific domains and improve the spread of European research results. The project aims to achieve a sustainable European approach to improve the quantity, visibility and usability of high quality academic research and foster the creation of new content by developing future-oriented publishing solutions, including an Online Library.” (source)

Press release OAPEN

eContentplus programme 


The title of the conference is quite a mouthfull – ‘Strategies for Sustainable Access and Creative Reuse of Images and Sounds Online – but the program is nonetheless more than promising.

Legal seminar on audiovisual archives and Intellectual Property Rights
Location: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Hilversum
Date: Thursday April 10, 2008
Time: 10.00 – 17.00 hrs
Legal issues on digitisation and reuse of audiovisual content. The legal seminar includes two workshops on orphan works and clearing rights, and secondly on archives and open content publishing.

Economies of the Commons Conference: Day I & II
Location: De Balie, Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam
Friday 11 en Saturday 12 April , 2008.  10 – 18.00 hrs
for the packed program click here for the webpage or download the pfd-file Program Economies of the Commons Conference.

Main themes of the conference:
‘The conference will focus specifically on the creation of public audiovisual archives and their sustainability, analysing and comparing across different domains where they emerge. Specific legal and technological questions involved in the creation of these new type of digital repositories will also be addressed (among others Intellectual Property Rights and the problems of the structuring of data collections, retrieval and metadata, new approaches in social tagging, and more) while attempts will be made to bridge between different disciplinary discourses and social contexts.’

Posted by: Monika | March 26, 2008

Agenda preview: Access to archival heritage

Posted by: Janneke Adema | March 23, 2008

Leiden City of Books

          Studium Generale has organized a series of lectures accompanying the ‘City of books’ exposition in de Lakenhal. This week’s topic concerned the book production in Leiden during the last part of the ‘Dark Ages’. The lecture was delivered by Ed van der Vlist, curator of medieval manuscripts at the Royal Library. Van der Vlist tried to show, making use of typical Dutch ‘dry humor’ how hard it is to date and locate medieval manuscripts. This applied also to the city of Leiden. The only book left from the library of Philips van Leyden was by lucky accident swapped with the Germans during WWII in the name of Heimat. Now it is one of the treasures of the Leiden University Library.

        From 1300 onwards we can distinguish a growing amount of legal and administrative pieces originating from Leiden. But in the 14th century the production of books also started to rise. The convents of Leiden smelled an opportunity in the growing demand for all kinds of reading material. Because of the lack of colophons in medieval handwritings, manuscripts were mostly dated by their miniatures. In Leiden three groups of manuscript illustrators dominated the scene, of which the Masters of Hugo Jansz. van Woerden probably produced their works in Leiden and the Suffragiën Masters most probably. Probably they worked from the convent of Lopsen, near Leiden. A great amount of beautiful illustrated miniatures are shown by Van der Vlist to illustrate the difference in style between the two groups. Especially the Suffragiën masters use a very colorful underground to their border decorations filled with realistic flowers. They are seen as an important late blossoming of the northern Dutch manuscript production. The coming of the print (r)evolution brought an end to this in the second part of the 16th century.

        Van der Vlist spiced up his talk with examples of the Leiden ‘spiky script’ and anecdotes about how Gumbert would smell in his books to get more clues: the sour smell of the ink seemed to please him!

        Wonder how André Bouwman is gonna top that during next weeks lecture about the production and consumption of late medieval texts. You can find more information about the lectures here:

Posted by: Monika | March 17, 2008

Public Library Amsterdam goes 2.0

Finally a public library in the Netherlands decides to go 2.0!
On march 13, 2008 the public library of Amsterdam proudly presented their new social web competible search engine: the AquaBrowser. I wonder if the name has something to do with all the canals in Amsterdam…

Anyway, the users will be able to tag titles in the catalogue, make their own lists, share them with other users and in the future also write reviews on titles. The tagging will open nieuw search opportunities for books, dvd’s and cd’s. 
In use is the MyDiscoveries system, that requires a log in before making use of the social web services.

What’s special about the AquaBrowser searchengine is that it does not only search through the collections of the public library, but that also through ‘Muziekweb’ – the biggest music collection of the Netherlands, the Amsterdam UIT-office which is some kind of event agenda, seven national newspapers and six magazines (that were not further mentioned) and even more sources, neither of them further mentioned.
The idea is that as soon as other libraries start using the MyDiscoveries system, they can share the tags, searchwords and else. Besides, the system also offers the opportunity of automatically add the tags to the huge online datbase of LibraryThing that already has about 20 million user tags and 13 milion books.
Also worth mentioning is that even people with bad sight were considered by the Amsterdam public library, the program BrowseAloud was installed to read out the texts.
Ah, well done public library Amsterdam! Feels good to be 2.0, doesn’t it?
 Public Library Amsterdam
Sources (in Dutch):

OBA-  Public Library Amsterdam

DEN article

Posted by: Camila | March 13, 2008

Blaeu Atlas

The famous Atlas published by Blaeu on the 17th century is available online since yesterday! You can check it in the website from the Regionaal Archief Leiden (for those who don’t read Dutch, click on “Bekijk de atlassen in de viewer”).

Via Boekendingen

Posted by: Monika | February 29, 2008

Newsletter 2.0

Traditionally, the Book & Byte Master students published a newsletter called Ezelsoor. It’s the Dutch word for ‘ear of the donkey’ but also refers to the damaged corner of a (book)page.

Initially we had intended to revive this newsletter, but somewhere in the mid of January the project died. No one had written any articles. To organize a meeting was impossible, since most of the foreign students went home during holiday. And, quite frankly, we were too exhausted from writing papers to actually produce more long and well researched articles.

On the other hand we have had a very vibrant yahoo-group since the beginning of the study in september 2007. There we discussed the studytopics, organised meeting outside the class and kept each other up to date by posting links to interessting sites. Since the link-posting got wilder and wilder we felt we needed an easier and wider approachable platform than just our closed discussion-group. Also, because on several occasions we found that people would like to get in touch with B&B students more easily and that there is a need to show who we are and what we exacly do.

We found that a blog serves all our needs and offers the possibility for every student to contribute, rather than a few. By the way, that also includes alumni and future students.

Therefore we proudly announce the birth of the B&B newsletter 2.0!

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