State scientific library in Prešov to digitise information on Roma culture

THE STATE scientific library in Prešov has established a Documenting-Information Centre of Roma Culture (DICRK), which plans to collect and digitise a broad range of information on Roma culture, history, language, traditions and crafts. It is to be launched as part of the Informatisation of Society Operational Programme and will last until the end of 2013, with some aspects of the project possibly running longer.

Digitisation of books Digitisation of books (Source: Sme - Ján Krošlák)

THE STATE scientific library in Prešov has established a Documenting-Information Centre of Roma Culture (DICRK), which plans to collect and digitise a broad range of information on Roma culture, history, language, traditions and crafts. It is to be launched as part of the Informatisation of Society Operational Programme and will last until the end of 2013, with some aspects of the project possibly running longer.

“The project, which started with the reconstruction of a building on Obrancov Mieru Street and equipping it with technology, now has a pilot operation, and must be sustainable for at least five years,” head of DICRK Erika Godlová told the TASR newswire. She explained that the project is divided into three parts: oral history and literature, musical heritage and crafts and visual arts.

One of the results of the project will be a multi-media publication devoted solely to contemporary Roma music. “This will not be designed as an encyclopaedia, but rather as a presentation work reflecting the topic of Roma music – styles and genres - in a multi-media format,” Godlová told the SITA newswire. A digitalised, interactive map of Roma crafts is also planned, which will offer information on where Roma crafts can still be traced.

Head of the library in Prešov Valéria Závadská said that the public will be able to see the new rooms set aside for the centre in autumn. However, the project is designed to be accessible via the internet. Závadská told SITA that the project’s costs would amount to €1.9 million and so far, about 34 percent has been spent.

The State scientific library in Prešov is focused on creating and developing the collections of expert and scientific literature, and it specialises in the literature of ethnic minorities (Ruthenians, Ukrainians) and Slavic literature. Its activities have recently expanded to all aspects of Roma culture. The ambition of the library is to place these activities into a European-wide context, and to thus secure the project’s sustainability in the future.

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