Digitisation of the cultural and historical heritage, its online accessibility and the maintenance of its economic exploitability — all these are activities underlying the European cultural agenda that promote various forms of cultural and language expression, as well as attract and integrate audiences.
The transformation of modern-day public infrastructure induced the libraries to change their position in the information space, so as to meet the public and personal needs. The functions of the libraries are preserved, but are modified, supplemented and updated in accordance with the specific activities for their actual realization.
Varna Digital Library was launched in 2008 with the participation of Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library in a project which provided access to the collections kept at libraries, museums and archives through Europeana, the European Digital Library.
The idea about the digitisation was formed not only as a modern alternative to the conservation of library collections, but also as a process of achieving openness and open access to the full range of library and information resources. >>>
The idea as initially proposed was realised in the project Old Varna – digitisation of old postcards from Varna. The partnership of the library with related cultural institutions suggested a new point of view on the original idea – the accumulated amount of factual resources was systemised in different thematic areas telling the story of Varna during the National Revival and after the Liberation.
Today, Varna Digital Library offers a wide range of various types of items – postcards and photographs from the end of 19 and 20 century of emblematic for the city and the region people, events, sights, National Revival literature and periodicals published in Varna after 1880, which are in possession of the library and related cultural institutions.
The digitisation of the materials and their publication in the global network makes it possible to use them as part of the world cultural heritage, which is accessible to all citizens within their education, work or free time, with guaranteed safety and conservation of the original. The ultimate goal is the creation of a complete, semantically united and consumer-oriented cultural product.
The digitisation is an essential part of the implementation of the cultural, informative and educational mission of the library; it is part of a long-term strategy, which is coherent with the efforts of the European Union focused on conservation of the significant historical legacy and cultural heritage in terms of their specific aspects and diversity.
The documents subject to digitisation are related to the cultural and historical heritage of Varna and the region. Varna Digital Library is organised into the following collections:
- Varna periodicals, 18-20 c.
- Postcards, photographs, calendars, invitations, posters, etc.
- Bulgarian Literature – rare and valuable books from the National Revival period and the beginning of 20 c.
The full volume of the resources kept at Varna Digital Library is submitted to Europeana. Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library is also an aggregator of digital content for Europeana from other public and regional libraries in the cities of Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Ruse and Dobrich; community centres – in the town of Dolni Chiflik, and the villages of Gradinarovo and Manastir, Varna region; museums and private collectors.