The Deutsche Bibliothek: its Role in the Creation of a Digital Library for Europe

It was in May 1997 that the new building of the Deutsche Bibliothek was inaugurated at Frankfurt/Main. This library, whose mission is to gather printed matter and digital documents, offers an on-line catalogue on a multimedia system and communicates with the outside world by Internet. As a centre for national bibliography, it produces around fifteen million notices per year, both on- and off-line. It comprises a part of a network of European national libraries, which would like to promote the creation of a European virtual library, the constitution of a library of deposit for digital documents and the definition of cataloguing norms for electronic documents. A means of access and a gateway have been put into service which work with other systems used by libraries and research information centres without changing the research language. This programme permits the library to play an integrating role in Germany and to be an effective partner in projects requiring international cooperation.