100th Annual Report of the Swiss National Library: cooperation beyond borders
Bern, 12.06.2014 - Switzerland is a popular meeting-place for the library community, and the Swiss National Library frequently plays host to international specialist conferences. Its 100th Annual Report shows how closely information specialists work together. All the reports since 1895 are now available online.
In spring this year, the national libraries of the French-speaking nations met in Switzerland to continue work on their digitised documents platform (RFN). Just under a year from now, the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL) will be holding its annual meeting in Bern. In autumn 2016 the Swiss National Library, in association with iPres, is organising the most prestigious conference on the long-term preservation of electronic documents.
The Annual Report 2013 of the Swiss National Library (NL) reveals how these conferences are the product of international networking among libraries. The NL is involved in specialist networks in many ways, both internationally and in Switzerland. Its Director, Marie-Christine Doffey, is head of Memoriav, the Association for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage of Switzerland. She is also Vice-Chair of the European CENL and its global counterpart, the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL).
“Working closely with partner institutions helps us to further our own development,” says Doffey. “Those cooperations make information accessible to all – beyond the borders of institutions and countries, and beyond our own time.” The CENL, for example, has developed The European Library, an online platform enabling searches in the catalogues of all Europe’s national libraries as well as many other research libraries.
In addition to working with associated institutions, the NL also attaches great importance to contacts with information producers. The NL’s holdings are constantly growing, thanks to material supplied by publishers and distributors, authors and artists. At the end of 2013 the Helvetica collection of books, newspapers, magazines and visual documentation on Switzerland comprised 4 367 662 units, 24 111 of which were electronic publications. The NL also holds an estimated 1.2 million documents on historic monuments, 78 archives and literary estates in the Prints and Drawings Department, and 326 in the Swiss Literary Archives.
The NL was founded in 1895. It collects texts and images related to Switzerland, which it lists, preserves and makes accessible to the public. The Swiss National Sound Archives perform the same tasks for sound recordings on behalf of the NL. From the very beginning, the NL has documented its work in activity reports. Some years were combined, so that the Annual Report 2013 is the NL’s 100th. To mark this small anniversary, the NL has teamed up with the library of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to make every issue available online at http://retro.seals.ch.
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