Participants 2014

Gert-Jan van Velzen: Building a collection of digital publications

Gert-Jan van Velzen

Hi, My name is Gert-Jan van Velzen.

I do work as account manager for the Dutch deposit collection of the Royal Library (KB) in The Hague. Unlike many other countries, the Netherlands has no legal deposit. We ask the publisher, institutions, foundations, associations as well as individuals to deposit one copy for free at the Royal Library in The Hague. When it is not possible for the publisher to deposit without payment there is a possibility to pay the publisher. But 90% of all publications are received without an invoice.

The focus of the Royal Library is changing from print to digital publications. The KB has made an agreement with Google to digitize 160,000 royalty-free books from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also other initiatives to digitize other parts of the collection including journals and handwritings. Except digitization the KB tries also to collect more and more directly digital publications.

With the help of IBM a e-Deposit system was built originally for articles from scientific journals and later on also for loading monographic publications with the purpose to keep them save for long term digital preservation. At the moment a new system is build but unfortunately there are many problems. Because of this a part of my work to collect more digital publications stagnant at the moment.

I hope I can learn and hear from other librarians (hopefully from other National Libraries too) how they are dealing with the issue of building a collection of digital publications and how to give access to them for the long term.

Besides my work as account manager I am also secretary of the KB works council. At the moment we are very busy with an integration process with The Netherlands Institute for Public Libraries (SIOB). Starting January 2015 SIOB and his staff will be part of the KB.So for me it is also very interesting to learn more about public libraries and in particular, how they cope with digital information and digital publications.

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