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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5670 - Music and Information Resources Assisted Computer Library Exchange
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/B 4-5 bis January 1999

Keywords : braille; distributed library services; music libraries, visually disadvantaged
Related projects : CANTATE; TESTLAB

blue bullet Additional information is available on the MIRACLE 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

MIRACLE aims to develop a system allowing special libraries to access and download Braille music in digital form from a central database, drawing on the experience of the CANTATE and TESTLAB projects. Braille music is currently the only means the blind have for reading musical scores, but its production is labour-intensive and expensive. Four main Braille music libraries have formed a shared catalogue of Braille music and will cooperate on joining the digital files to a database so that they can be shared and accessed via the Internet. This approach will en-courage other major special libraries to join the system.

Technical approach

The database technology currently used for the music files developed at SVB combines a full bibliographic description of the inkprint item from which the Braille file has been derived with a full entry on the Braille item. The catalogue conforms to AACR2, ISBD and Smiraglia rules.

MIRACLE will provide a reliable basis for producing on-demand prints of Braille music and for creating metal masters for printing houses. This will raise productivity and provide stimulus to the use of Braille music.

The demonstrator will make use of the CANTATE client-server model, adapted on the basis of an analysis of user requirements. Use will be made of HTTP and FTP services via the Internet or intranets. It will consist of a central catalogue of Braille music, a server system allowing libraries to search the catalogue and download the Braille files for local printing. The server will also administer financial aspects.

Key issues

The main issues to be addressed are:

  • Improvement of the server system based on the international Braille music catalogue and related user requirements.
  • Provision of a central music Braille resource consisting of catalogue information and Braille file with search and transfer procedures together with charging and licensing support.
  • Testing and evaluating the database, on-line exchanges of files between the partners and access from test sites.
  • Widening the potential for access by developing suitable training programmes and drawing up exploitation plans.


On project completion, a business plan for Braille music will be developed based on mutual exchange and payment. The larger producers will stand to have the greater revenue but they have the greatest investment in the production of Braille.
Braille music transcription libraries around the world will be kept informed of progress of the project and will be invited to join in a cooperative effort resulting in far wider access to Braille files with a resulting reduction in duplication of effort.
MIRACLE will open up new horizons for the blind to access Braille music scores through networked special libraries


The main public deliverables will be:

  • Report on Braille music production
  • Report on standard music encoding
  • System requirements specification
  • MIRACLE Demonstrator
  • Reports on file handling, changing scales and sharing of production requests
  • Business Plan
  • Annual and Final project reports

Documentation is available from the contact below and from MIRACLE Web site .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Studie en Vakbibliotheek voor visueel en anderszins gehandicapten 1016 GM Amsterdam NL
Title, First Name, Name Mr Richard Tucker Address: Molenpad 2
Tel: +31 20 6266465 Fax: +31 20 6208459
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles ES P
Royal National Institute for the Blind UK P
Schweizerische Bibliothek für Blinde und Sehbehinderte CH P
Shylock Progetti IT P

  • Transformer workbench development according to specified

    Top of Document

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