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Annual report 2005

Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General

Annual review

Die Deutsche Bibliothek has a national brief: on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany it collects, documents and stores Germany's scientific and cultural heritage as manifested in its publications. Die Deutsche Bibliothek has many faces: it is a Federal institution, a central archiving library and national bibliographic information centre, a service-provider, a national and international cooperation partner, a much-used library housed in three locations, an event and exhibition venue. This annual review gives a brief outline of the key topics and projects in which Die Deutsche Bibliothek was involved in 2005.

Amendment to law

In 2004, the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media Affairs proposed a revision of the "Law regarding the Deutsche Bibliothek" in response to the recognised need to include digital publications under the collection mandate. The resulting draft bill also specifies a new name for Die Deutsche Bibliothek to reflect more accurately the ambit of its tasks: the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library).
The draft bill was passed in May 2005 by the Cabinet. The Bundesrat commented upon it in July 2005. It welcomed the expansion of the collection brief, suggested dispensing with the name change, and nominated two Länder representatives to the Administrative Council which would need to be expanded accordingly. The Federal Government reviewed the Bundesrat statement and rejected the suggestions as objectively unfounded. The existing cabinet draft could then have been passed to the German Bundestag under the normal procedure, however this never happened due to the early federal elections and the formation of a new government.
The new Federal Government adopted its predecessor's draft bill and presented the existing version, unchanged, to the German Bundestag for discussion. The bill resolution was then passed; this allowed a second reading in the Bundesrat in the first half of 2006.

Annex Building in Leipzig

Detailing planning of the 4th annex building to the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig began in 2005. The collaboration between the building managers, the architects and planners demanded a great deal of specification and decisionmaking; gradually, however, the building is starting to take shape and is slowly coming to life. To help with planning the exhibition rooms of the German Museum of Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum), Die Deutsche Bibliothek enlisted the services of the renowned consultants LORD Cultural Resources Planning & Management, Berlin.
The second main area of planning concerned integration of the German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) Berlin and redevelopment of the book tower façade. These require official structural planning and budget approval before the work planning can be carried out alongside the extension building work. The Federal Ministry of Finance approved the first supplement to the extension building in December 2005.

DDC Deutsch

As of the 2006/2007 bibliographic year Die Deutsche Bibliothek plans to introduce uniform, comprehensive categorisation based on the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system for all bibliographic series.
As of the 2006 bibliographic year, DDC is to be assigned universally in Series B and H in all subject areas; previously only individual subjects were classified by subject headings or exceptions were made to the subject heading classification. In Series A, the classification using "Regeln für den Schlagwortkatalog" (RSWK) is being retained in full; additional DDC classification is scheduled here from 2007.
The print edition of the German DDC 22 was published immediately after conclusion of the project DDC Deutsch in September, in time for the Book Fair. At the same time Die Deutsche Bibliothek presented Melvil, the new online web service of DDC Deutsch, which can be used as a charged service from 2006. This means that, for the first time, DDC is available worldwide not only for classification (MelvilClass) but also for retrieval (MelvilSearch).


The Office for Library Standards made decisive progress in the year under review towards making the German codes of practice, formats and standard files international compatible. In 2004 preliminary work was carried out on establishing joint approaches on personal names; the project for defining common formal classification guidelines for the names of corporate bodies subsequently got underway in 2005. The aim here is to create the required compatibility for universal international data use and to simplify search and data use procedures through the use of common rules for personal and corporate body names.
The 2004 resolution of the Committee for Library Standards to use MARC 21 as the standard exchange format for all German-speaking libraries entailed tasking Die Deutsche Bibliothek and the expert group for data formats with making preparations for the compulsory use of MARC 21 as the standard exchange format. A core element of the transition is the development and maintenance of binding concordance between MAB2 and MARC 21. The preparations should be complete by the start of 2007, allowing a coordinated transfer to be carried out in all institutions involved.
In 2005 the Committee for Library Standards tasked the Office for Library Standards with carrying out the "Development of a joint standard data format" project which has been on the agenda for some time. The project is being carried out in partnership with the library networks of Germany, represented by IT representatives and representatives of the expert groups.
As part of the VIAF project carried out by the IFLA-CDNL Alliance for Bibliographic Standards (ICABS), the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) and the Personennamendatei (Name Authority File, PND) are being compared and harmonised in a virtual international standard file on the basis of the relevant associated title data of the Library of Congress, Die Deutsche Bibliothek and the Bibliotheksverbund Bayern (BVB). Work began on combining the person-related data records of the Library of Congress with those of the PND in 2005. Where identical personal data records are found, a VIAF data record is generated. The preliminary work of setting up the VIAF server (project phase 2) is scheduled to take place in the first half of 2006.


Die Deutsche Bibliothek presented its redesigned web service at the 2005 Book Fair in Frankfurt. Easier navigation, user-friendly information layout, barrier-free access and contemporary design are the main features of the revamped website. Access to the library's extensive range of information has been simplified. It is now possible to decide whether to search in the website itself or directly in the online catalogue right from the first screen. The redesign implemented the Barrier-free IT ordinance (BITV). The service was also given a clearer structure. The new structure is also the basis for future expansions and the planned development into an information portal.

Online catalogue

The integrated online catalogue of Die Deutsche Bibliothek has been in productive use since May 2005. This is the joint search system of Die Deutsche Bibliothek for bibliographic data records of 11 million items in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main; it provides the option of placing an online order. New functions and improved layout of the catalogue have also improved its ease of use. The new online catalogue now also contains links to abstracts and other title information. In September 2005 an interface for making availability inquiries and placing orders with (the consumer portal and shopping system of "MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH") was added to the online catalogue. The new link offers users the possibility to query the availability of titles and to place a direct purchase order.
The free encyclopaedia Wikipedia has been linked to the online catalogue of Die Deutsche Bibliothek since June 2005. A link has been added to Wikipedia entries of people who are authors or the subject of a publication; users are taken at the click of a mouse to the relevant publications in the catalogue of Die Deutsche Bibliothek. The next step in the collaboration is to create links from the online catalogue of Die Deutsche Bibliothek to the person entries in Wikipedia.

Library use

In 2005, 15,297 users placed 482,486 orders on 296 days of operation at the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig. At the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main (including the German Music Archive Berlin) 23,815 readers ordered 466,317 publications for use in the reading rooms on 296 days of operation.

Collection and outstanding new acquisitions

The collections of the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig grew by roughly 380,482 units to a total of 13,621,814 units in the year under review; the collections of the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main (including German Music Archive Berlin and GEMA Printed Music Collection) increased by 306,834 to a total of 9,268,803 units. The number of online academic publications held at the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig rose by 3,444 to 15,861 units, and in the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main by 6,183 to 23,799 units.
The Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig obtained a collection issued by the most important self-published original pictorial/literary magazine published in the GDR in the 1980s: the "Entwerter/Oder" artist book edition; the collection is almost complete from No. 5 in 1983, including the special editions and photography issues.
The German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 (Deutsches Exilarchiv) acquired ten new legacies and partial legacies in 2005 and expanded many existing collections with valuable new additions, e.g. a partial bequest from the artist and journalist Erna Pinner including letters from Elias Canetti and copies containing dedications from Theodor W. Adorno.
Major new acquisitions of the German Museum of Books and Writing include the "Pillnitzer Elegien" set, obtained with the support of the Gesellschaft für das Buch and the "Ars moriendi" folder; this contains texts by Dieter Hoffmann with illustrations by Stefan Plenkers and copperplate etchings by Jürgen Brodwolf.
The German Music Archive Berlin expanded its collection of historical recordings; acquisitions included the extremely rare gramophone record "Der klingende Feldpostbrief" from roughly 1942, featuring music and a short greeting from a German soldier on the "Russian front".

International co-operation

The Director General of Die Deutsche Bibliothek, Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann, was elected Chair of the Conference of European National Librarians in September 2005. An important task facing the CENL at present is setting up "The European Library" (, a concept born of an EU-sponsored project. Besides providing comprehensive information on all 45 CENL-member national libraries in Europe, "The European Library" features an integrated search function which accesses the catalogues of 15 European national libraries at present. Integration of the national libraries of the ten new EU member states in this European library service is the objective of the EU-sponsored TEL-ME-MOR project, as is the establishment of joint projects and partnerships between the different libraries; further libraries are set to join before the end of 2006.


The long-term preservation of digital publications is a complex task; the growing number of electronic publications is increasing the necessity of reliable archiving. With its KOPAL and nestor projects Die Deutsche Bibliothek is taking a leading role in two co-operative projects with strategic significance for the long-term preservation of the digital cultural heritage in Germany.
The aim of KOPAL (Co-operative Development of a Long-Term Digital Information Archive) is the practical testing and implementation of a co-operatively developed and operated preservation system for digital publications. Following completion of the preparatory specification work (in particular deciding upon the universal object format) IBM began work on software development (DIAS-Core components) in 2005. The project partners (Die Deutsche Bibliothek and the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen) are using DIAS-Core to create co-ordinated software packages which give the institutions structured access to their data stocks and which allow the data to be processed for the archive as data packages. This work was completed ahead of schedule, allowing acceptance tests to be started on the test system in October 2005. The next steps will be comprehensive testing of productive operation and commencement of the preservation planning procedure.
Die Deutsche Bibliothek is also involved in setting up a national co-operative "Network of Expertise in Long-Term Storage of Digital Resources" (nestor) which aims to bundle all related efforts, to play an advisory role to information providers in Germany, to co-ordinate co-operation at the international level and to set up a decentralised and devolved structure for the long-term preservation of digital publications and documents. In 2005 nestor expanded the services provided on its information and communication platform Two further reports were issued in the series of publications on specialist topics. The range of communication possibilities between all parties interested in the subject of long-term preservation is to be increased by the creation of a database within the nestor website.
Since November 2005 the work of the Co-ordination Agency DissOnline set up within Die Deutsche Bibliothek has been supported by two projects sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): DissOnline Portal and DissOnlineTutor. The aim of the DissOnline Portal project is to collect electronic dissertations and post-doctoral publications in one portal, and to make them available as part of a network. The portal will offer specific search tools and the possibility of inclusion as a web service in specialist portals (including international ones) and the subject portal vascoda.
The Co-ordination Agency DissOnline is involved in the DissOnline Tutor project in co-operation with the Duisburg-Essen University and the Humboldt University in Berlin. The aim is to develop tools for the word processing systems Microsoft Word, Open, StarOffice and for the typesetting program LaTeX, and to provide recommendations and training materials for the authors of dissertations and doctoral theses.

Professional conferences and training

The staff of Die Deutsche Bibliothek regularly give information at special events, workshops and trade fairs about current activities, project progress and the latest results. The concluding workshop of the project "Building up a Co-ordination Agency for online dissertations and post-doctoral theses" was held on 25 February 2005 at the Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt am Main. The DDC Deutsch project organised a concluding workshop entitled "Presentation of the German DDC 22 and perspectives for DDC application in German-speaking countries and international" on 20 April 2005. In the second half of 2005 the Office for Library Standards organised a number of information and discussion events on the development of norms for the library networks of Germany and in Austria, and provided information on the individual modules of the current international code development projects.
The German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 was actively involved in organising and staging the annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Exilforschung which was held from 11 to 13 March 2005 at the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main and which carried the title "Biographies and autobiographies of exiles and émigrés".
In 2005 Die Deutsche Bibliothek was represented with a stand at the book fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main and also at the 94th Deutscher Bibliothekartag in Düsseldorf.

Cultural programme

An interesting programme of events and exhibitions was organised both in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main. The following is merely a small selection.
Spring and autumn are traditionally busy periods for events: Die Deutsche Bibliothek organised interesting readings and discussions at the book fairs in both its locations, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main.
The German Museum of Books and Writing took part in the "Nacht der Leipziger Museen" with a full programme of activities.
On 2 September 2005 the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig was involved in the nationwide "Lesezeichen" initiative - a day of action organised by the libraries and archives to draw attention to preserving collections.
The exhibition "Meinem besten Porträtisten ..." was well received by the public and the press. This included portrait photographs and drawings from the collections of the German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945, on display from 9 December 2005 in the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main. Carrying the title "Das Wort liebt Bilder. Dieter Hoffmann: Lyrik, Arbeit mit Künstlern und Pressen 1955 - 2005", the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig presented the exhibition in botht exhibition areas in conjunction with the German Museum of Books and Writing. This exhibition was then displayed in the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main in the autumn.

Last update: 21.02.2012

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