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Annual report 2006

Dr. Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General

Annual review

In this, the 2006 Annual Review, we look back on a year which was of exceptional importance for the German National Library. By amending the legal mandate, the German Bundestag fundamentally expanded the Library's collection mandate. The change of name to German National Library signals more clearly the nature of the Library's task. Following Germany's reunification, this new, umbrella name visibly signifies completion of the integration process between the libraries in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin.

The new Law represents a challenge and incentive for the German National Library and its staff to play its role in the national and international community of libraries and to fulfil its tasks with renewed energy and commitment. In this Annual Review we summarise the key areas and focuses of our work.

Law regarding the German National Library

The Law regarding the German National Library came into force on 29 June 2006. This supersedes the Law regarding the Deutsche Bibliothek from 1969. The main reason for amending the Law was the inclusion of online publications in the Library's collection mandate. Following years of preparing for and acquiring experience on handling online publications, the German National Library's collection mandate now takes recent publishing developments fully into account. Two other notable changes have been included in the Law. Firstly the name change to "German National Library" which expresses the Library's function as Germany's national bibliographic centre, and secondly the expansion of the Administrative Council to include two members of the German Bundestag.

Corporate Design

When the law came into force, the change of name from "Die Deutsche Bibliothek" to "Deutsche Nationalbibliothek" was incorporated in all materials intended for internal and external use. One of the first tasks involved changing the name within the existing logo. Then, in October 2006, the Claus Koch agency was commissioned to devise a new look for the library which expresses the significance and essence of the German National Library. The process of developing a new logo and creating a new corporate design will be completed in the end of 2007.

Net publications

When the new Law came into effect, the German National Library was given the task of collecting, processing, indexing and archiving online publications. The collection field of net publications covers all text, image and sound-based works which are made available in public networks. The submission obligation covers both Internet publications with corresponding printed versions and also web-specific media works. The expanded legal mandate will be specified in the revised version of the mandatory submission regulations and the collection guidelines to be issued during the course of 2007. In a test phase lasting several years the German National Library has developed collection, indexing and archiving strategies in conjunction with various publishing houses and publishing institutions. As a further service offered by the German National Library portal, the website went online in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair, aimed at handling the growing demand for information surrounding online publications and the deposit process.

Annex building in Leipzig

At the start of 2006 the Federal Ministry of Finance approved the 1st Supplement to the plans for the 4th annex building of the German National Library in Leipzig. Following the construction planning approval, this move acknowledged on the financial level the integration of the German Music Archive (Deutsches Musikarchiv) Berlin in the Leipzig building and the necessary redevelopment of the façades of the book tower. After intensive consultation between all concerned - the building administration, the architects, planners and the German National Library - the draft plans were approved in August 2006. Preparation of the building site is scheduled for the start of February 2007, and the excavation work will begin in the summer.
To help with planning the exhibition rooms of the German Museum og Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum), the German National Library enlisted the services of the renowned consultants LORD Cultural Resources Planning & Management, Berlin, back in 2005. Their extensive "Studie zur Neukonzeption des Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum in Leipzig" formed the basis of the invitation for proposals for drawing up an exhibition concept including a proposal for PR work. The contract was awarded to ARGE Iglhaut + Partner und Westphal Grafik Design.


In the year under review the Office for Library Standards made decisive progress towards making the German codes of practice, formats and standard files internationally compatible. The resolution of the Committee for Library Standards to use MARC 21 as the standard exchange format for all German-speaking libraries entailed tasking the German National Library and the expert group Data formats with making preparations for the compulsory use of MARC 21 as the standard exchange format. The main focus of the work in 2006 were a concordance between MAB2 and MARC 21 and proposals for handling fields and functions which are not possible in MARC 21 but which may be required for national data transfer. The format changeover is to be supported by the New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
In 2006 the Office for Library Standards in conjunction with the expert groups of the Committee for Library Standards presented three statements on drafts of the "Resource Description and Access (RDA)" code and was involved in the international discussion on the "Statement of International Cataloguing Principles".
The German National Library has agreed to continue its chairmanship of the Advisory Board of the IFLA-CDNL Alliance for Bibliographic Standards (ICABS) for the next three years, thereby continuing in its role as Alliance secretary.
The Library of Congress, the German National Library and OCLC are working together on the "Virtual International Authority File - VIAF" project, carried out under the auspices of ICABS, to develop a virtual international authority file, linking the data records of the national standardisation files in the Web in a freely accessible form - initially for names. In the project it has already been shown that the data records of the Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF) and the Personennamendatei (Name Authority File, PND) can be reliably aligned and combined using an automatic algorithm-controlled process. The next project stage after setting up the VIAF database will be the introduction of an update service and user services.

Since mid 2002 a project group of the German National Library has been working on preparing and implementing the participation of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in the Zeitschriftendatenbank (Periodicals database, ZDB). In the year under review the common DNB - ZDB data format, which was created as the result of intensive collaboration with the main editorial office of the ZDB, was completed. Work on the online cataloguing of the ZDB is planned to start in spring 2007.

DDC Deutsch

As of the 2006/2007 bibliographic year the German National Library has introduced a uniform and comprehensive categorisation system based on the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system for all bibliographic series. DDC has been issued in all subject areas throughout Series B and H since 2006. From the start of 2007 DDC classification is to be introduced in Series A in addition to "RSWK" subject headings.

Catalogue of the Archival papers of the German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945

The catalogue of the Archival papers of the German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 (Deutsches Exilarchiv) went online in September 2006. This covers title data from all archival papers entered since the acquisition year of 2005. The structure of the catalogue ranges from an overview of the stocks and brief descriptions and summaries of estates through to individual catalogue entries.

International activities

In 2006 the German National Library was very active at the European and international levels. The Library is involved in a number of EU-sponsored projects in two different capacities: as the German National Library and as the headquarters of the chairwoman of the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). The European Library, the online catalogue of the European national libraries and a web service of CENL, was further expanded, both in terms of its functions and also the number of participating libraries. The national libraries of the new EU member states are to be linked to The European Library through the TEL-ME-MOR project which will be completed in spring 2007. Nine further European national libraries will be involved in The European Library through the EU-sponsored European Digital Library project (EDL), which started in September 2006. This means that 32 of the 47 CENL member libraries will be full members of The European Library by the end of 2007, and its catalogues, collections and freely accessible online resources will be searchable and accessible by the end of 2007. The German National Library is a full member of The European Library and is responsible for co-ordination of both the TEL-ME-MOR and EDL projects.

In a different yet complementary scheme, the MichaelPlus Project is also helping to set up the European digital library. In contrast to The European Library, MichaelPlus will feature bibliographic descriptions of collections (not of individual objects) and will be accessible both via a national and a European portal. MichaelPlus will cover not only library collections but also collections held by museums and archives. MichaelPlus will therefore help provide broad-based access to the European cultural heritage. The German National Library is a partner in the German consortium which started work on this two-year project in June 2006.


The German National Library in Leipzig was open on 295 days; 13,854 users took advantage of its services and 469,167 orders were made. In Frankfurt am Main, 21,573 readers made use of 474,865 works in the reading room; the library was open on 295 days.

Collection and outstanding new acquisitions

The collections of the German National Library in Leipzig grew roughly by 333,268 units to a total of 13,955,082 units in the year under review. The collections of the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main (including the German Music Archive Berlin and GEMA-Notenbestand) increased by 300,613 units to a total of 9,569,416 units. The numbers of online academic publications rose by 9,629 to 49,285 units.
The German Exile Archive 1933 - 1945 acquired ten new complete and partial literary estates and made valuable additions to many existing collections, e.g. the estate of the composer and concert pianist Hilda Loewe (Henry Love), the estate of the psychologist Ernst Schachtel and the estate of the sociologist Fritz Pappenheim.
Some of the principal acquisitions of the German Museum of Books and Writing include works with hand-bound jackets by Carl Sonntag jr. The German Music Archive Berlin expanded its collection of historical recordings, including the acquisition of the extremely rare shellac record "Charlie and his Orchestra" which was made at the behest of the "Reichspropagandaministerium" during World War II.


Through its kopal and nestor projects the German National Library is taking a leading role in two co-operative projects carrying 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. The system successfully started its first stage of productive operation in August 2006. The project partners, the German National Library and the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen, have already transferred roughly 34,000 documents to the archive system hosted by the Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbh Göttingen. The open-source tools (koLibRI) developed in the project have been optimised to ensure reliable data transfer in a controlled environment. Components for administration and process monitoring are currently being developed and the conditions created for carrying out migration and emulation processes in kopal which ensure that the archived documents remain permanently interpretable.
The aim of nestor "Network of Expertise in Long-term Storage of Digital resources" is to create an information and communication platform to publicise existing activities related to the long-term preservation of digital resources, to create synergy-yielding links and to propose further collaborative measures. It has now developed into a highly regarded and frequently used information platform attracting almost 50,000 page views per month (; a newsletter has also been created. The 'Memorandum on the long-term accessibility of digital information in Germany' describes the conditions for preserving the cultural and scientific digital heritage which are required as the basis for a national strategy. It discusses and lays down criteria for the trustworthiness of the data archives which need to be established for the long-term preservation of digital resources. The aims are to preserve the results obtained and to develop and extend them to include new aspects. A major task in the second phase of the project is also creating the necessary organisational, political and financial conditions for the competence network in order to anchor the entire subject area and associated activities on a permanent basis in Germany.

Starting in November 2005, the work of the Co-ordination Agency DissOnline set up at the German National Library was supported by two projects supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The aims of the "DissOnline portal" project are to bring together electronic dissertations and doctoral theses in a portal and to make them available via the net. The existing research possibilities do not provide full documentation of online university publications; they are spread across different locally-based or organisation-oriented documentation systems. The main focus of the project is therefore the collection, processing and preparation of these materials, and the provision of the portal's own research possibilities.
The "DissOnline tutor" project has three main goals: to improve the technical quality of permanently preservable electronic dissertations, improved and long-term access to electronic dissertations, and the development and provision of tools for the creation and technical checking of these publications. In order to achieve these goals, dedicated and specially co-ordinated tools have been developed for word processing systems and for the LaTeX typesetting system, for use by the authors of doctoral theses and dissertations.

The CrissCross project jointly run by the German National Library and Fachhochschule Köln and sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft began at the end of January 2006. The project's aim is to create a multilingual, thesaurus-based and user-friendly research vocabulary. This combines the subject headings of the Subject Heading Authority File (SWD) with the notations of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Multilingualism is achieved through links to the equivalents in the two comprehensive headings files: the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Rameau. This then gives the user access to heterogeneously classified documents, without him or her having to be familiar with the rules of the respective national or international classification instruments.

The aim of the "Buchhändler-Porträts" (Bookseller Portraits) project being sponsored for 20 months by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is the classification and digitisation of approx. 3,300 printed portraits of booksellers, bookprinters and publishers from the 17th to the 20th century. This hitherto unclassified part of a special collection of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library provides unique source material for book and publishing history. The digitisation is being carried out using sophisticated scanning technology, and the processing and ordering of the digitised content is embedded in the long-term preservation policy of the German National Library.

The European Commission is sponsoring the "Bernstein" project to create an integrated European digital environment covering the history of paper and knowledge about paper. The project links together all current European watermark databases, thereby providing a comprehensive and authoritative source of information about paper. The databases will benefit from specialised image processing tools for the dimensioning, authentification and dating of paper, and an extensive range of contextual data containing bibliographic and geographic (GIS) content.

Professional conferences and training

The staff of the German National Library regularly give information at special events, workshops and trade fairs about current activities, project progress and the latest results. In its role as the nestor II co-ordinator, the German National Library organised a DIN workshop in Frankfurt on 2 and 3 November 2006 for specially invited participants on the need for standardisation in long-term preservation and digitisation. The 6th DissOnline Workshop was held on 23 May 2006 in the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main. Just under 100 international experts in the field of preservation took part in the European "Preserving our written cultural heritage - a national undertaking within a European framework" congress from 13 - 15 March 2006. The event was organised by the German National Library, the Allianz zur Erhaltung des schriftlichen Kulturgutes (Alliance for the Preservation of Written Cultural Heritage), the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Goethe-Institut.
In 2006 the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek had stands at the book fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main and also at the 95th Deutscher Bibliothekartag in Dresden.

Cultural programme

In the year under review the German National Library once again offered a stimulating programme of events and exhibitions both in Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main. The following is merely a small selection.

Spring and autumn are traditionally busy periods for events: the German National Library 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 again enjoyed great success at the Leipzig "Nacht der Museen". Between 7 pm and 1 am on 6 May the museum organised a whole range of activities around the theme of "Transit". Also on 6 May, although somewhat earlier in the day, the German Music Archive Berlin took part in the Germany-wide Archive Day. The theme for the day was "Der Ball ist rund ... die Schallplatte auch.", and the Archive took the opportunity to present football-related gramophone records, CDs and music from the Berlin collection.
The "Die Kinder der Manns - Ansichten einer Familie" exhibition in Frankfurt attracted a great deal of interest, both from visitors and the press. Showcasing hitherto undisplayed photographs, manuscripts and documents from the estates, visitors were given new insights into one of the most influential international writer families of the 20th century.
The "Eric Carle. Syracuse N.Y. - Stuttgart - New York. Ein Künstler für Kinder" exhibition was shown to great success at both of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek's locations: in Leipzig in the spring and in Frankfurt am Main in the autumn.


(only available in German)

Erwerbung (PDF, 31KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Normdateien (PDF, 27KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Nationales ISSN-Zentrum (PDF, 24KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Sacherschließung (PDF, 41KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Benutzung, Auskunft, Archivierung (PDF, 34KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Zentrale bibliografische Dienstleistungen (PDF, 23KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Spezialsammlungen (PDF, 31KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Deutsches Musikarchiv Berlin (PDF, 26KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Aus- und Fortbildung (PDF, 26KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Haushalt und Personal (PDF, 22KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Führungen (PDF, 28KB, Not barrier-free file.)
Gremien der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
Mitarbeit in Gremien
Veranstaltungen und Ausstellungen

Last update: 20.05.2014

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