L. Kildushevskaya1, L. Zinchuk2

1 - National Library of Russia

2 - Russian State Library


State-of-the-art, problems, and prospect of national library electronic resources creation in the field of cartography accessible to the remote users are considered in the paper. This work is carried out within the general concept of electronic libraries developed by the national libraries of Russia. The main components of this process are the following: organization of electronic catalogues and map-indices, planned digitization of cartographic collections, digitization in connection with the work in individual thematic projects, provision of access to accumulated electronic resources, and creation of our own D‑ROM editions.

Electronic catalogues are kept from 1990s and cover new accessions of cartographical publications. Scanning of the old map catalogues was carried out in order to provide access to them. Access to this body of data for the remote readers is organized as well. This part of electronic catalogue keeps the structure of a traditional catalogue. Thus, staying at home, any reader can find on the library site the complete information on the availability of cartographical publications in the library stock. Besides, special databases of scientific description are created for the most important parts of the stock. For example, the joint electronic retrospective catalogues of Russian maps and atlases of the 18th and 19th centuries.

However, the creation of various reference device cannot replace immediate work with a map. New technical capabilities allow creating electronic versions of maps. Formation of document selection criterions to convert them into electronic form is the first problem by creating digital collections. As a rule, frequency of the document use and their historical and cultural value are used as such criterions. We chose the second criterion as the main one. Initially the process of electronic map library creation began with the work on the individual thematic projects; the joint Russian‑American project Meeting on Frontiers was the most significant of them. Several thematic projects on creating CD‑ROM editions were undertaken as well.

In recent years we began to carry out the systematic work on the digitization of rare cartographical publications.

The first collections digitized routinely were the collections of printed plans of Petersburg and the collection of Russian maps and atlases of the 18th century.

In some cases the digitization was carried out in process of material restoration. At present, the mention body of images forms a peculiar electronic map library numbering about 1500 images.

Library of digital maps is a local one (with the exception of the material of site Meeting on Frontiers). Access to its resources is carried out mainly in the local network of the library. Remote users are provided with complete information on the cartographic resources of libraries and map reductions allowing the readers to make preliminary choice. Condition of access to the complete images of maps, which is possible via the Electronic Document Delivery Service on the basis of payment, is reported. Some electronic documents containing in the electronic library as well as electronic exhibitions are presented on the external server of the National Library of Russia for advertising purposes.