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A Europeana Digital Library Initiative for the Cross Border Area of Greece and Albania (BALKANEANA)

The cross border regions of the Prefecture of Epirus and the District of Gjirokastra have a rich cultural heritage partially recorded in books, artifacts and folk songs. However, there is a lack of digitized material and an impeding need to provide modern access to this wealth of cultural content as well as to be in synch with similar activities in Europe. The Balkaneana project aims at introducing novel digital library and data warehouse technologies for developing a usable and efficient representation of the content of the public Library of Konitsa and the municipal library of Gjirokastra that will be fully compliant to the Europeana standards. All items will be digitized, enhanced with cross-references and multimedia material. Besides allowing advanced access to this content, it is also crucial to preserve it in a sustainable manner for the next generations. In addition, Balkaneana will provide a significant added value to the regional cultural heritage preservation, promotion and exploitation, by directly connecting the thesaurus of the local libraries to Europeana and its aggregators. Through the visibility thus offered by Europeana, Balkaneana will create added value for the economic growth in the cross border region both directly and indirectly.
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