BIVALDI the Digital Library of the Valencian Bibliographic Inheritance

BIVALDI the Digital Library of the Valencian Bibliographic Inheritance

Nuria Lloret Romero (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain), Margarita Cabrera Méndez (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain), Alicia Sellés Carot (Masmedios Ltd., Spain) and Lilia Fernandez Aquino (Masmedios Ltd., Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-879-6.ch038


The Biblioteca Valenciana was created by the decree 5/1985 of the 8th of January and is presented primarily as “upper library centre of the Generalitat Valenciana and basic bibliographic deposit” which depends on the Conselleria for Culture, Education, and Sport. For this reason, it is the head of the library system of the Comunidad Valenciana, Conselleria, and as such, it has established objectives in the eighth article of the Law 10/1986 of 30th of December of Organización Bibliotecaria de la Comunidad Valenciana between which are emphasised “to meet, to conserve and divulge the Valencian bibliographic inheritance and all the printed, sound and visual production, about the Comunidad Valenciana.” It is also made up as “receiver of one of the examples proceeding from the offices of the Depósito Legal “and it is attributed the obligation of fulfilling the collective catalogue of the Valencian bibliographic and cultural inheritance. Furthermore, the Valancian library must insert itself into the denominated National Libraries, and for this reason, in the Comunidad Valenciana, it is in charge of uniting history, tradition, and in the future of the obtaining of political libraries, because it is defined as “central expert of the carefully worked political library in the Valencian library system” and, for this reason, must be in charge of “elaborating and divulging the bibliographic information about the Valencian editorial production and of maintaining the cooperation with the library services of different scopes.” In fulfilment of its responsibilities and with the intention of obtaining the maximum spread of the bibliographic and cultural inheritance, the Biblioteca Valenciana, in the setting of its Digitization policy, has dedicated and dedicates many resources in four lines or different solutions. In the first place, it coedits with different publishers, monographs, or titles of magazines which permit the recuperation and spreading of the Valencian inheritance. Some examples are Ruedo Ibérico, L’Espill, or La República de les Lletres. In the second place, it digitalizes different resources which can be consulted from the catalogue. This solution is especially oriented to the preservation and conservation of the collections, and enables the users to be able to see from their computers the supplies to which the descriptions belong, and can decide if they are useful or not for their consultation, instead of indiscriminately asking for them, thus reducing the moving and manipulation of the original copies. The library is also working on the digitalization of material, especially all personal files, which do not belong to them, but which are of great importance. Finally, the Biblioteca Valenciana has begun the Biblioteca Valenciana Digital, (BIVALDI), which is the object of the present project, and which we are going to describe in detail in the following sections.
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BIVALDI: Biblioteca Valenciana Digital

In the month of May in 2002, the Biblioteca Valenciana starts a project of digitalization denominated Biblioteca Valenciana Digital (BIVALDI). It refers to a digital library in which it is able to consult relevant and significant Valencian scientific and literary works, apart from works which are considered to be of interest for the development and improvement of scientific investigation about the historic, bibliographic, and cultural inheritance.

This deals with an ambitious project which is not created as a repository of any determined theme or as a reflection of the resources which are taken care of in the Biblioteca Valenciana. The Biblioteca Valenciana Digital intends to recuperate the Valencian bibliographic inheritance, which means it intends to be the meeting place of works that form part of said inheritance irrespective of its location. For this reason, we find in BIVALDI works which are not property of the Biblioteca Valenciana and which cannot be acquired, or because they are unique examples or because they are not on the market. But this is not the only objective of BIVALDI; it is also created for the necessity to offer more information, which means it is intended to incorporate, together with the work, informative elements of added value about the authors, the works, the printers, and so on.

All investigators and the general public who consult BIVALDI will be able to enjoy the works thanks to an easily manageable informatics platform which permits simple surfing. One of the outstanding attractions of this library platform is that the user can surf, not only in an individual way through the original digitalized text or through its transcription and/or translation when they are necessary, but also in a simultaneous way on the same screen, with the original work together with its transcription and translation. Also the user, as has already been mentioned, counts on wide information about the author and his work. This deals with bibliographies and specialised studies about the works, the printers, biographies of the writers, and so on.

Logically, to be able to begin this project, the Biblioteca Valenciana needs the collaboration with other institutions for the obtaining and later digitalization, or for obtaining the digital reproduction.

Between others, the University of Valencia has provided the digitalization of the incunables of Les obres o trobes en laors de la Verge Maria—which is the first literary work printed in Spain in the year 1474; from Tirant lo Blanch by Joanot Martorell; from Regiment de la cosa pública—work of Francesc Eisimenis; de l’Omelia sobre lo psalm “De profundis” by Jeroni Fuster; from l’Omelia sobre lo psalm “Miserere mei Deus” by Narcís Vinoles; from Lo somni by Joan Joan; from Lo procés de les olives; and from the incunable of 1493 which contains the Historia de la Pació by Bemat Fenollar and Pere Martínez, la Contemplació a Jesús Crucificat by Joan Escrivá and Bemat Fenollar and l’Oració a la Sacratíssima Verge Maria by Joan Rois de Corella, the last of the great Valencian medieval writers. Because of this, the Valencian City Council has authorised the digitalization of two incunables. On one hand, the translation of Imitació de Jesucris—better known as the Kempis—related under the name of Menyspreu del món by Miguel Pérez, a Barcelona edition which is the oldest translation of printed work in the world in the Romance language; on the other hand, the translation of Les Meditationes vitae Christi by Ludolf de Saxonia, a version of the “Cartoxá,” requested to the Valencian authorities by King Fernando el Católico from Castille.

On the other hand, the Hispanic Society has provided the digital reproduction of the two unique pages of the Biblia valenciana, printed in 1478 and attributed to Bonifacio Ferrer. Also included in BIVALDI is the digitization of the copy of Tirant lo Blanch kept in the American Institute, which has permitted the changing of the pages in bad condition or lost of the first edition of “Tirant,” the first novel of the Valencian literature kept, as we have aforementioned in the University of Valencia.

L’Abadia de Montserrat has given permission for the digitalization of the copy of Antidotarium clarificatum, by Nicolau Spíndeler and printed in 1495, and of the work of the Valencian Amau de Vilanova, doctor to popes and kings, which is kept in the Catalan Institute.

Also, BIVALDI has been able to count on the collaboration of the Biblioteca Nacional de España, which has given permission for the digitalization of the Obra a llaors de Sent Cristófol and Vita Christi by sor Isabel de Villena—a work by one of the most important writers of the medieval Europe—an incomplete copy of which is kept in the Biblioteca Valenciana.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Incunabulum: A book single sheet, or image that was printed, before the year 1501 in Europe.

Digitization: Digitization means acquiring, converting, storing, and providing information in a computer format that is standardized, organized, and available on demand from common system. With specialized scanners, manuscripts are converted into compressed digital signals and stored systematically for future reference.

Manuscripts: The word manuscript is derived from the Latin manu scriptus, literally “written by hand.”

Biblioteca Valenciana: Valencian bibliographic collections library.

BIVALDI: Valencian digital inheritance library collection.

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