Bibliothèque nationale de France: judges' comments

 

  • This is a quite outstanding example of sustained, strategic and continuous innovation over a long period, which has transformed the BnF into a world-leading model of how to reposition a great library in the digital age, whilst also keeping true to its core vision and mission.  Gallica has developed services to delight it's users, sharing its great cultural heritage resources with the world, and sharing the practical experience with libraries across Europe and beyond, taking a distinctive leadership role in the development and success of Europeana. It's leadership in creating and implementing new business models, forging imaginative partnerships and collaborations of all kinds, notably with the publishing industry, to provide seamless services is second to none. On top of this it is at the forefront of innovation with its proof of concept work on linked open data, showing how we can all create new value from library metadata in a semantic Web world.  It's innovation is the best kind - learning by doing, and scaling up success. In summary, a stunningly good entry and a well deserved winner. 
    – Dame Lynne Brindley, Chair, Former Chief Executive Officer, The British Library

  • An inspiring model for strategic innovation and continuous improvement in a dynamic environment. In pursuing digitization, the BnF has imaginatively found a creative balance between publishing industry interests while capturing and sharing France's cultural heritage. A large project which has not only managed the challenges of growth in the size of collections, it has aggressively adopted Linked Open Data and semantic web technologies to better position these collections and their associated metadata for use and reuse in the rapidly shifting external environment. A wonderful and inspiring example of how to transform a great national library to expand its relevance as national and international cultural treasure in the digital age.
    – Richard E. Luce, Associate Vice-President, Professor, and Dean of Libraries, University of Oklahoma


  • For many years, Gallica symbolizes the approach of libraries to create new realms of experience for users in a public space by digitizing their holdings. A continually evolving and sustainably pursued program has created one of the most important and best-known digital collections, and it has become a model for many other initiatives. Especially noteworthy are the dense innovation cycles that the BnF has processed, by which the offer kept pace with general technical developments. By establishing a complete processing chain of object preparation, classification and digitization up to the long-term archiving of the resulting digital data the BnF provides best practice for similar initiatives.
    – Elisabeth Niggemann, Generaldirektorin, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

  • The application proposal is well organized and adequately presented with balanced supporting illustrations such as, snapshots, diagrams, charts, and tables. I was impressed by the quality of the projects submitted. The comprehensive proposal along with those supportive materials help the readers/judges easily grasp the progress that the Gallica team has made to the digital library. Equally impressive is the information technologies these projects are adopting, the way they handle new challenges, and the goals they have achieved. Since the launch of the Galllica digital library in 1997, the team never stops innovative research and continuously integrates new information and digital technologies into it, thus enables the library to keep growing with substantial progress in each of its development stage. The Gallica digital library features itself with functions of advanced search, RSS feeds manipulation, mobile applications, and social media, just to name a few. An impressive achievement, among numerous others, is the direct online interacting between curators and end users through major social networks. The consequences of this endeavor include the significant increase of traffic and satisfaction of the digital library, the expansion of the reader community, the increase of the number of Gallica online newsletter subscribers, and a better use and re-use of its resource, for which the digital library is designed. It can be well said that the Gallica has grown into a fully-fledged virtual library bringing its ample digital collections to scholars and the public. “Gallica While Label” demonstrates a remarkable improvement over prior cooperative model, enabling partners in public organizations to benefit from the Gallica model and build digital libraries in an economic way. As another face of BnF’s digital strategy, data.bnf.fr project has shown BnF’s efforts to take new approaches to reusing metadata. The proposal objectively explains the difficulties to realize the new data exchange among libraries, revealing the high value of library metadata in the Web environment. The Data has built an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for deploying Sematic Web technologies and standards in linking library bibliographic records that are readily available. The Data aims at exploring solutions toward this end, and envisions that it would innovate web technologies in less than a decade to handle this metadata issue with significant implications. I would not be surprised that the BnF’s innovative team would produce highly deliverable results for the entire digital library world. It is my great pleasure to recommend the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF), Gallica and Data for this year’s Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries.
    – Dongfang Shao, Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress