Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The Leon Levy Foundation has put a lot of money into funding digitization and conservation of archives (including several archives that I catalogued). Like this Friday ketubah. And the Simonsen collection in Copenhagen is also online, which is very cool. The most famous manuscript there is, I think, this copy of Maimonides' responsa, though some people have other interests. Their interface is very user-friendly, and doesn't require downloading any special software, unlike another library I could mention.


Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>Their interface is very user-friendly, and doesn't require downloading any special software, unlike another library I could mention.

True, but at least you can download the entire djvu file for local viewing. Also, you can turn it into a PDF.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous m-n said...

Why doesn't someone just write a flash-based djvu viewer? Googling...aha:
* Provide component necessary for a fully Flex/Flash based DjVu viewer to make millions of pages of DjVu encoded documents available to web users without downloading a plugin.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Sigfrid Lundberg said...

Glad you like the viewer. We work on the download functions for this service; eventually it will be possible download a whole work in one go. And, yes, you'll get it in PDF.

Flash is available everywhere, that's a great advantage. We've got djvu all over the place in older projects. It's part of the legacy we don't know how to handle :-(

If you're interested in the architecture of this service, then I've described it on my blog.


Sigfrid Lundberg, Software Engineer, The Royal Library, Copenhagen

9:36 AM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...


Fantastic. It's a beautiful and wonderful job. Glad to hear about the download option.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Yitzhak said...

As a committed FLOSS partisan, I strongly repudiate the assumption here that Flash is preferable to DjVu. DjVu is a free file format, and there's the DjVuLibre FLOSS client available for it. Flash is proprietary and buggy, and eschewed by right-thinking people ;)

5:55 AM  
Blogger Sigfrid Lundberg said...

Yitzhak, I share your preferences regarding FLOSS.

(1) The viewer product (FSI viewer) we're using wasn't choosen by me, I'm the guy doing the metadata, the one doing the images.

(2) We deliver tif to the viewer, and that isn't a closed standard.

(3) Patron's do have problems installing DJVU, but almost all of them have FLASH :-(

We've got other problems with our viewer platform, and that is the image server part (erez) of it, delivered by Yawah. Until recently is was nice independent company. Now, it's aquired by Adobe and we have no longer support for the image server.



8:48 AM  
Anonymous Yitzhak said...

Thanks, Sigfrid, and thanks for your work on the site. I did not mean to criticize you, just the attitude that one sees too often (elsewhere) that Flash (and DOC, and Outlook conventions, etc.) are Good Things simply because everyone uses them ...

9:50 PM  

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