International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects
15 - 16 September 2005



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Göttingen State and University Library

The founding of the Göttingen university library in 1734 opened a new chapter in library history. For the first time, the idea of a modern research library could be realized. Research literature was collected from around the world, systematically cataloged, and made readily available to patrons.

Today the Göttingen State and University Library, (SUB) is one of the largest libraries in Germany. Its holdings exceed 5,500,000 volumes, 1,400,000 microforms, 16,000 current journal subscriptions, 13,000 manuscripts, 3,100 incunabula, 220,000 maps, 350 sets of literary remains, and over 300 online and CD-ROM databases, as well as extensive digital holdings. The SUB provides user-friendly and differentiated offering of research and study facilities.

Daily, some 4,000 individuals use the new SUB building built in 1993 and situated at Platz der Göttinger Sieben 1. Open access is provided here to not less than 1,300,000 books and journals, 450,000 in the reading rooms and 850,000 in the basement's open stacks. In addition, 150,000 more volumes in the Historical Library Building at Papendiek 14 and in the Chemistry, Forestry, Medical, and Physics Divisional Libraries are freely accessible to patrons. Almost 1,000 workplaces of varying nature (including carrels and group workplaces) are available. In a single year, almost a million lendings are made locally and about 200,00 through inter-library loan.

The library plays an important role in the national literature-delivery system. The special-collections areal program of the DFG (German national research foundation) is responsible for making available in Germany to the extent possible at least one copy of every scholarly relevant publication so that those materials are available for scholarly and scientific work through copy-services or inter-library loan. In this way, the availability of a comprehensive range of highly specialized literature and digital information sources for research is assured.

The SUB provides its holdings not just locally and through inter-library loan and document-delivery service, but also as microfilms and digitized versions. The Göttingen Digitization Center, (GDZ) takes on digitization projects that demand the highest standards. Internet publishing for students and researchers is supported in a variety of ways. The library's Proprint Service constitutes an effective print-on-demand service. The Learning Center also offers multi-media facilities for teaching and learning. Therefore in the year 2002, the Göttingen SUB received the Bibliothek des Jahres 2002 designation as recognition for its achievements.

Brief history of Göttingen

The first recorded mention of 'Gutingi', the village on the watercourse, was in 953. The town saw its heyday as a commercial centre between 1351 and 1572 when it belonged to the Hanseatic League.
In 1734 through the generosity of the local ruler, Elector George Augustus of Hanover, Göttingen University was founded. It started with four faculties and was a true product of the Age of Enlightenment. Today almost 24,000 students attend the university.
The international reputation of the university was founded by many eminent professors who are commemorated by statues and memorial plaques. 42 Nobel Prize-winners have studied or taught in Göttingen e.g. chemist Otto Wallach (1910), medicine Paul Ehrlich (1908) or the physician Max Born (1954). Many students attained a place in history - for example Otto von Bismarck, who studied in Göttingen in 1833.

The four institutes of the Max-Planck-Society for the Promotion of Science perform basic research in the interest of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. It takes up new and innovative research areas that German universities are not in a position to accommodate or deal with adequately. In Goettingen there are four interdisciplinary research areas: Biophysical Chemistry, Dynamics and Self-Organization, History, Experimental Medicine.

A walk around the town with its evocative relics of past centuries will transport you back to a bygone age. Nevertheless new and old harmonically exists side by side. In front of the Old Town Hall for example stands the "most-kissed girl in the world", the smiling statue of the "Gänseliesel" on the fountain in the market place. By tradition every post-graduate student who attains his doctorate must kiss the little geese-girl.
Find out the caharming athmosphere for yourself. The mixture of history and modernity - the combination of young pulsivating student life and the centre of commerce and industry in southern Lower Saxony.

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