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Tag der gewerblichen Schutzrechte,
Stuttgart, 30. Jun
CICM 2015, Washington, 13. - 17. Jul
AALL - American Association of Law Libraries, 10th Annual Meeting and Conference, Philadelphia, 18. - 21. July

Old Treasures Rediscovered

The beta version of the German Digital Library (DDB) – the German National Portal for Culture – will be introduced today and made available to the public. FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institute for Information Infrastructure as operator of the technical infrastructure assures that everybody can access valuable cultural assets. So the original manuscript from 1734 of the renowned Christmas Oratorio (“Weihnachtsoratorium”) by Johann Sebastian Bach will be available via a central internet portal in a digital format. In the future, the German National Library will become a network of all German cultural and scientific institutions and their digital collections which are to be integrated into the European digital library Europeana.

Karlsruhe – November 2012. “Shout for joy, exult, rise up, glorify the day […]“, these are the introductory words – very appropriate indeed – to Bach’s “Weihnachtsoratorium”. Its original manuscript, converted to digital format, is now available in the DDB together with about 5.5 million digital objects from culture and science. The DDB interlinks and offers central access to millions of digitized books, materials from archives, paintings, sculptures, monuments, films and music, held in various collections at cultural and scientific institutions in Germany. That means that a search for “Weihnachtsoratorium” not only leads to the digital version of Bach’s original score held in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin but also to a historical audio recording from 1951, conducted by Günther Ramin, the 12th choir director at St. Thomas Church succeeding Johann Sebastian Bach, from the collection of the SLUB Dresden.

As the technical operator of the DDB, FIZ Karlsruhe is in charge of the complete IT infrastructure. In addition to the public online portal this includes systems for editing and normalizing data and for supporting the workflow between the partners. In order to guarantee highest standards of performance and availability, the DDB runs on two redundant systems in data centers at different locations. The cloud-like system archi-tecture allows for dynamically adapting the system performance to the number of visitors of the portal. FIZ Karlsruhe also supports the cultural and scientific institutions in technically editing and harmonizing their very heterogeneous data to be included in the DDB. With this combination of technology, content and service, FIZ Karlsruhe offers a sound basis for successfully operating the DDB. “The DDB has reached a stage now where most technical processes are running smoothly. The portal – albeit not all of its functions – can be used by the public“, explains Matthias Razum, the responsible project manager at FIZ Karlsruhe. “This has laid the foundations for a further growth of the DDB in the years to come, with respect to content as well as to functionality. We are happy that the DDB is online now“, Mr. Razum continues, “and we welcome feedback and suggestions from the visitors of the portal that will help us enhance the DDB together with our partners according to the users‘ needs.“
Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, Director and CEO of FIZ Karlsruhe, emphasizes: “As Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, we are proud of playing an important role in this ambitious project of national, cultural, political, and scientific relevance. The DDB is an example of how content, technology, and service can be merged into an innovative information infrastructure, while meeting the highest quality standards. This applies to all products and services of FIZ Karlsruhe.“
For more than 35 years, FIZ Karlsruhe has been among the most successful players in the information business. Besides the DDB, the Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure operates world-renowned database services for science and business, focused on scientific and patent information. Based on this experience and expertise, as part of its product portfolio FIZ Karlsruhe also develops innovative e-Science solutions for science and research.

“This is the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek!“
Professor Hermann Parzinger, President of Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Chairman of the Board of DDB, presents the portal.


Matthias Razum, DDB project manager at FIZ Karlsruhe, at the data center.

German Digital Libray (DDB) Beta-Release