A virtual library
DONum is a project of Digitized Objects Repository (“Dépôt d’Objets Numérisés” in French), launched in 2009 by the CIUF (Council of the Universities of the Belgian French-speaking Community) and the BICfB (Consortium of the Universities’libraries of this Community). In Liege, DONum materialized in the launch of this portal.
As a repository, DONum aims to be a virtual library allowing everybody to access the digitized collections of the departments and services from the University.
Each service with heritage collections can load in the DONum the digital version of the orininals, to make them available to the general public.
A University heritage
More than a research and teaching institution, the University of Liege has also an important cultural and heritage role. Preserving collections it had inherited at its creation in 1817, the University also saw them grow through the years, by its research, but also through gifts, legs or acquisitions.
Today, the University and its various services work to the safeguarding of a real heritage treasure whose cultural, historical, esthetical or scientific value is similar to its diversity. Art works, manuscripts and early printed books, scientific tools and instruments, fossils: many collections that marked centuries of studies and research, becoming today sources for our researchers and students.
Digitization can be a concrete mean for the preservation of this heritage material : making these Objects available online, it helps to set up better preservation conditions for the originals.
Open and easy access
DONum is in line with other projects launched these last year at the University of Liege, as in other universities in Belgium. Posing Open Access as a foundation, DONum is a complementary facet to the other portals ORBi , MatheO et PoPuPS .
As the virtual showcase of the digitized heritage collections of the University, DONum gives free access to the majority of its contents. The only exceptions are digitized objects still covered by the copyright law. For a better and more comfortable access, the digitized files in DONum have been reduced to a lighter format, still allowing a real readability. In any case, high resolution copies are available, under some conditions, from the service conserving the document.
An open door to other projects
DONum is an Open project.
Open to the University, first : the repository is open to any service, department or person from the University, that would keep heritage collections and wish to make their digital version available to anyone.
Open to other virtual libraries, then. At the digital age, it is illusory to think that researchers and students from all over the world would know DONum and will come to it directly. DONum has been created keeping in mind that the data had to be compatible with other larger or best-known portals, or projects. The data contained in DONum at ULiège are automatically exported to the common DONum portal for the Belgian French-speaking universities. Beyond this, we focus on other global portals such as Numériques.be or Europeana. From local to regional projects, then to national or international initiatives, the digitized collections from DONum will be visible and accessible to a wide audience.