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Manuscripts and Letters via Integrated Networks in Europe


MALVINE opens new and enhanced access to disparate modern manuscript holdings, kept and catalogued in European libraries, archives, documentation centres and museums. MALVINE will provide a common multilingual user interface in a clear terminology with the help of metadata. The project will involve 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

The technical basis for the MALVINE concept and demonstrator to be developed is mainly based on already existing standards and S&R-components available from other projects. Network components, standards and protocols as Z39.50 will be used to provide state-of-the-art search and query mechanisms and interoperability of heterogeneous systems. Based on previous EU-funded projects the concept of a "retrieval manager" will enable parallel searches in existing databases. Data exchange and text encoding will be based on the SGML standard. "Neutral entry point" clients (using WEB-technology) will provide full access facilities to the information resources. The technical platform will be 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.

Impact and expected results

The main technical outcome of the project will be:
the operational implementation of a MALVINE-'retrieval manager' allowing parallel multisite searching and navigation on the collection level via metadata coming from the explain module and the thesaurus; this component provides 'slots' for existing Z39.50 based OPACs;
the implementation of an OPAC system (MALVINE-OPAC: data base and Z39.50-target) which is considered to be generic for library, museum and archival applications (MALVINE-profile);
data loading facility for the MALVINE-OPAC using a SGML-based input format;
simple data entry procedure for bibliographic and object type data as used in archives, libraries and museums; this procedure produces SGML structured records (MALVINE-production system);
production modules for simple catalogue type information using SGML and based on the MALVINE-production system.

Special care will be given to produce high-quality, cost-effective and well-documented software solution with a wide applicability.

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Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
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Potsdamer Str. 33
10785 Berlin

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