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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 11 DEC 98

Project Number and Title
4100 - Computerised Bibliographic Record Actions Plus Preservation and Service Developments for Electronic Publication
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ Concerted Action 6 and 2 June 1996
Bibliographic records; electronic publications/publishing; metadata; national libraries

blue bullet Additional information is available from the CoBRA web site  (

Concerted Action
This is a concerted action involving national libraries in Europe.
Call Topic(s)
Call topic 6: Services for the acquisition and supply of materials to libraries;
Call topic 2: Tools and methods for the creation and use of library materials in electronic form.
Project description
This is a concerted action, involving national libraries in Europe. Its main goals are to build on a concertation activity (CoBRA) set up in 1993 to promote initiatives and actions in the area of national bibliographic services at a European level. CoBRA+ consolidates previous work while widening its focus beyond national bibliographic services to include collection based issues particularly those concerned with electronic publications and related service developments in national libraries. Particular emphasis is placed on resource access and sharing, user needs and the use of communications networks to achieve these aims.
Technical approach
The Steering Group of 8 national libraries works with the support of two main Task Groups. The first deals with metadata and bibliographic control and access, with particular reference to electronic publications. The second is concerned with examining issues and recommending actions in the area of electronic publications and digital resources. The task groups examine issues underpinning the development of future projects, and carry out small-scale, targetted technical feasibilities.
There is also a steering group with the role of developing exploitation plans for the implementation and integration into the operations of libraries of both the results of projects currently being carried out under CoBRA and results from CoBRA + projects which become available.
Key issues
Among the main technical issues to be explored are:
  • bibliographic description for electronic and network publications and related access issues;
  • subject access, authority control, language issues (particularly in a networked environment);
  • networked information resource description and retrieval;
  • digitisation techniques;
  • implications of legal deposit of electronic publications;
  • long term storage of, and access to, electronic publications and digital collections;
  • service developments for electronic publications and digital collections;
  • integration into operational and service environments of current work into conversion formats, character sets, file transmission standards.
Impact and expected results
CoBRA+ continues the promotion and implementation of agreed common actions between key national libraries and other major players in Europe, aimed at stimulating the creation of a European libraries infrastructure. It encourages cross-border resource sharing and access to services, by libraries and by their users.
The results include:
  • recommendations for projects and collaborative initiatives;
  • technical feasibilities and recommendations;
  • exploitation plans for integrating results of ongoing CoBRA initiatives.
Documentation can be obtained from the contact below and from


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
The British Library, National Bibliographic Service UK - WETHERBY LS23 7BQ UK
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Howard SHOEMARK Address: Boston Spa
Tel: +44-1937-546596 Fax: +44-1937-54 6586
E-mail 1: E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Deutsche Bibliothek DE P
Bibliothèque Nationale de France FR P
Koninklijke Bibliotheek NL P
Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro PT P
Helsingin Yliopiston Kirjasto (National Library of Finland) FI P
National Library of Ireland (Until April 1998) IRL P
Schweizerische Landesbibliothek CH P
Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico - ICCU (From March 1998) IT P

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