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National Digital 
 Library — 
 Services for 
 Archives and 

The National Digital Library promotes access to the digital information resources and develops the long-term preservation of digital cultural heritage.

Minna Karvonen
Counsellor for Cultural Affairs
Ministry of Education and Culture

Minna Karvonen
he National Digital Library (NDL) is Ministry of Education and Culture’s way of creating a unifying structure for contents and services that will implement the goals of the Government Programme.

The mission of the Government Programme is:
  • to develop libraries to meet the challenges of information society
  • to open the digitised materials of libraries, museums and public arts institutions for free public access
  • to make the digital data materials managed by the public sector available to citizens, businesses, communities, authorities, and for research and education purposes
  • to ensure the interoperability of the public digital information resources
The aims of the NDL project are:
  • to create and a joint public interface Finna
  • to develop a centralized long-term preservation system
  • to provide Finnish materials to Europeana and
  • to promote the digitisation of cultural heritage materials and the ICT interoperability of libraries, archives and museums.
Finna, Formula and Europeana
The public interface Finna will be created with an open source code software. Finna is maintained by the National Library in co-operation with public and research libraries, archives and museums.

The first wave of organisations will implement Finna public interface at the end of 2012. In the future organisations can be flexibly invited to participate in Finna. Libraries, archives and museums using Finna will comprise a consortium to plan and develop the interface further.

Each member organisation can have their own view in Finna. Members will manage the view and choose the materials and services it provides. Finna’s public materials will be collected for a so called national view for libraries, archives and museums. The project entails a Formula service that helps the metadata of Finnish library, archive and museum materials to be transferred to Europeana.

Digitisation & ICT interoperability
The National Digital Library project promotes the digitisation of cultural heritage materials and operations that integrate the metadata of library, archive and museum materials and develop the processes of digitisation.

During 2011–2015 the volume of digitised cultural heritage materials will increase in all types of materials. Digitised documents, newspapers and magazines compose the majority of them. The extensive preserving of films is being promoted during the next couple of years.

The long term preservation of digital cultural heritage is a common challenge for all archives, libraries and museums. Their current information management systems do not include the functions required for digital preservation (such as integrity monitoring, refreshment, migrations). Libraries, archives and museums also lack management processes focusing on digital long-term preservation. That is why we need a common vision of what to do with materials in order to keep them coherent, original, reliable and usable for future generations.

The NDL aims at developing a centralised solution for long-term preservation of digitised cultural heritage materials. The preparation of the solution in 2011– 2013 will ensure the original digital data will remain unchangeable, the data will be preserved on up-to-date storage media and that the metadata requirements for the actual digital preservation are met. This project is managed by the IT Centre for Science (CSC).

Cross-sector operations are implemented to increase the interoperability of the Finnish public administration information systems.

The NDL is a nationally important digital information resource and it provides distribution and preservation services. Libraries, archives and museums play a significant role in managing their information resources as well as maintaining the metadata services used in various other sectors of the society.

The enterprise architecture which describes the body of the NDL was updated in the spring 2012. The data architecture and the standard portfolio of the NDL have been taken into consideration in preparing the whole public sector enterprise and data architecture.

The National Digital Library is in many respects a unique entity: it brings libraries, archives and museums together to build a system that provides easily available materials and services and secures the long-term preservation of digital materials for future generations.

The impact of the digital library will be visible in many ways in the operation of libraries, archives and museums. The development of joint services and solutions requires commitment and partnership. As system services are developed jointly, it provides better justification for finding joint solutions even to other challenges in the operating environment.