In addition to many small projects, the University Library Basel participates in several large projects with wider appeal, or carries out its own large projects, that have a considerable impact on their target groups.
Research and teaching methods are undergoing a radical change. Researchers are increasingly working with digital methods. Retro-digitisation is therefore becoming increasingly important. Digitisation supports the goals of the university and strengthens the focus on digital humanities and digital editions. Due to this increased demand, the University Library developed a new concept for how it can serve research in the necessary quantities and with the short deadlines. Capacities will be expanded for large research projects, EOD orders and for preservation digitisation. This offer complements the previous objectives, namely securing and making the cultural heritage visible to the public. The university is supporting this expansion with special funds.
The University Library Basel is expanding its infrastructure for use- and research-oriented retro-digitisation in order to meet the increasing demand for digitised sources in teaching and research. The library will support the researchers already during the application process by calculating the third-party funds required for retro-digitisation based on the full costs of a project. Thus, the University Library makes a significant contribution to safeguarding its preserved cultural heritage and strengthens local research, amongst others in the area of the Digital Humanities and digital edition projects. You can find additional information here.
With the Research Data Management project, the University of Basel has coordinated and developed services for research data management since 2018. Through the establishment of close collaboration by various university support centres such as IT-S, DH Lab, sciCORE and the University Library, sustainable support for successful handling of data will be guaranteed.
Together with the Vice President’s Office for Research and sciCORE, the University Library Basel provides project management and takes over tasks in the area of advice and training, especially for FAIR data management and data publications.
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The ink corrosion project (Tintenfrass), funded by the President’s Board of the University of Basel, is run by the book conservation department.
Iron gall ink was the most common writing material used in ancient times right up to the start of the 19th century. Ink corrosion refers to the accelerated degradation of the writing medium (especially paper) in the area of the application of ink due to the use of unbalanced iron gall ink. In the worst cases, this results in the loss of material in the areas where there is writing and therefore to the physical breakdown of the writing. The complexity of the extent of ink corrosion damage creates major challenges for book and paper restorers.
The aim of the project is the permanent preservation of the handwritten holdings of the University Library Basel damaged by ink corrosion, through preventative, stabilising and restorative measures. Between 2019 and 2022, individual and bulk treatment methods to achieve chemical and mechanical stabilisation of ink-damaged library materials will be evaluated. In addition, the project includes an intensive investigation of the damaged objects with regard to the degree of damage, materials, the method of transmission, as well as the material composition. Both aspects are necessary for interdisciplinary conservation decisions, on the basis of which the first items can then be dealt with in the project.