Digital Library Pavia's history

In its current configuration, Digital Library Pavia represents the evolution of an old digitization project that had involved, during the years 2003-2006, a substantial collection of volumes from Plinio Fraccaro’s Library. Plinio Fraccaro was professor of Ancient History at the University of Pavia from 1915 till 1953 and, on several occasions, also Rector of the University. The collection, which is still preserved in the Humanities Library of the University of Pavia, includes, among other things, a considerable nucleus of works which, due to the richness of content and finesse and rarity of the editions, constitute a precious documentation on local history in particular of the Po area: the "Rare books of local history". In order to enhance the historical and artistic interest of this precious collection, a digitization project was therefore developed and could have been carried out thanks to the financial contribution of the Banca del Monte di Lombardia Foundation and to a residual share of funding provided by CILEA (Lombard Interuniversity Consortium for automatic processing) on UMTS funds of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. The end result was the consultation of documents through the Navigator interface of the Codex software platform [ml], an integrated modular system, developed by CILEA, which allows the storage and use of digital objects on the web interface: digital images were freely viewable, in high resolution, using the Codex navigation mask [ml] which could be activated by the search results in OPAC, and for each document a tree structure was shown, corresponding to the structural map of the work, with the possibility of scrolling tree and select pages.

The subsequent disposal of Codex [ml], with the consequent abandonment of the previously started project, gave rise, in 2018, to the realization of a new project and the creation of Digital Library Pavia, thanks to the potential offered by the DSpace GLAM platform, which allows the co-presence of different types of digital objects placed in relation to each other and presented through the aid of a particularly performing technology. Starting from the migration of all the previously already digitized material which was further enhanced here, the current digitization project has involved other structures of the Cultural Heritage Area of the University of Pavia, welcoming archival and museum materials, locally managed by Archimista and SIRBEC applications, as well as other valuable book collections, whose historical and scientific value can finally be highlighted in a most appropriate way. In perspective, Digital Library Pavia could also become a reference point for the enhancement of collections coming from external institutions which operate in the Pavia area, with a close collaboration with them.

The service activation for the public took place on January 13th, 2021 (see the event brochure published in our University News).

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