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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
LB-5674/B - Manuscripts and Letters via Integrated Networks in Europe
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ B 4-5 bis July 1998

Keywords : distributed databases; document access/delivery (electronic); manuscripts; networked resources - access OPAC; SR/Z39.50; World Wide Web
Related projects : COPINET; COBRA; COBRA+; ONE

blue bullet Additional information is available from the MALVINE project Web site (

Action Line

Action line B: Telematics Applications for Interconnected Library Services

Call Topic(s)

Call Topic 4-5 bis: Distributed library services

Project description

MALVINE opens new and enhanced access to disparate modern manuscript holdings that are kept and catalogued in European libraries, archives, documentation centres and museums. MALVINE provides a common multilingual user interface in a clear terminology with the help of metadata. The project incorporates databases in the field of biographical documentation, publishing projects and related sectors. Document delivery items will improve the options for remote access and will contribute to the protection and conservation of the precious original documents.

Technical approach

There are three main phases in the proj-ect: definition of services, system development and testing, and the demonstration system itself.

The technical basis for the MALVINE concept and the demonstrator is mainly based on existing standards and S&R-components; available from other projects.

Network components, standards and protocols such as Z39.50 are used to provide state-of-the-art search and query mechanisms and interoperability of heterogeneous systems.

A "retrieval manager" concept , based on previous EU-funded projects, enables parallel searches in existing databases.

Data exchange and text encoding will be based on the SGML standard.

"Neutral entry point" clients (using Web-technology) provide full access facilities to the information resources.

The technical platform is based on low cost PCs enabling even small sites to run a Z39.50 target system and a local OPAC

Key issues

Key issue to be addressed include:

  • User requirement analysis, user scenarios and survey of potential partnerships
  • Metadata definition
  • Terminology control through thesauri
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Guidelines and training for use of the service.


The main technical outcome of the project will be delivery of the operational MALVINE "retrieval manager" allowing parallel, multi-site searching and navi-gation at the collection level, via metadata.
The MALVINE-OPAC system (database and Z39.50-target) will be generic for library, museum and archival applications (MALVINE-profile) supported by a data loading facility using an SGML-based input format. Innovative products and services based on MALVINE will help suppliers to strengthen their position in the software market inside and outside of Europe.


The main deliverables, not all of which are public, include:

  • User requirements specification
  • Contents and uses service document
  • System requirements report
  • SGML feasibility study and prototype
  • Architecture design document
  • Interface control specification
  • MALVINE information brokerage feasibility study
  • MALVINE Core system
  • Test environment plan
  • Annual and Final Project reports

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the project Web site:


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin 10785 Berlin DE
Title, First Name, Name Dr. Jutta Weber Address: Potsdamer Str. 33
Tel: + 49 30 266 2416 Fax: + 49 30 266 3007
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2: (email removed)

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Joanneum Research AT P
University of Bergen - Norwegian Computer Centre for the Humanities NO P
Fraunhofer Institut Software- und Systemtechnik DE P
Institut de Textes et Manuscrits Modernes FR P
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek AT P
Biblioteca de Universidad Complutense de Madrid ES P
Biblioteca Nacional PT P
Institut für Wissenschaftstheorie und Wissenschaftsforschung der Universität Wien AT A
Forschungsstelle und Dokumentationszentrum für österreichische Philosophie AT A
National Museum of Denmark DK A
Deutsches Literaturachiv DE A
Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv DE A
British Library UK A
Institut Mémoire de l'Edition Contemporaine FR A
Swiss National Library CH A
Crossnet Systems Ltd. UK S
K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH &Co.; DE X

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