Keynote 1: Mass Digitisation in Digital Libraries: The Experience of the British Library
Speaker: Aly Conteh
Head of Digitisation, British Library London, UK
Abstract: The British Library is one of the great research libraries of the world, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats. The advent of the Internet and the ability to digitise large quantities of text and images and make them available over the Web has transformed ways of working. For the past two decades, the British Library has undertaken a number of focused digitisation initiatives. More recently, we have entered the world of mass digitisation of newspapers and books. Using the experience gained from digitising 25 million pages of books and 4 million pages of newspapers dating from the early 17th century, the approach, challenges and lessons learnt will be presented. For institutions such as the British Library partnering with the document analysis and recognition community is a key part of creating valuable and enduring resources for scholars and the public alike. The partnerships that the Library is currently involved in, which seek to advance the state of the art in mass digitisation of historic text, will be presented.
Biography: Aly Conteh is the Digitisation Programme Manager at the British Library, a
post he took up in April 2003. He is responsible for the development and
implementation of the policies, workflows and standards which govern digitisation of
items from the Library's vast collections. He has been involved in many digitisation
projects at the British Library including projects to digitise 25 million pages of 19th
Century books, 4 million pages of pre-1900 newspapers
and hundreds of manuscript volumes. His background is in
IT and prior to joining the British Library he implemented a
large scale digitisation workflow at a commercial publisher.
He serves on the Executive Board for the IMPACT project a
large-scale integrating project funded by the European
Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme
(FP7). He is as a member of the European Commission’s
Member States’ Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital
Preservation and has advised UK government departments
on digitisation matters.