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Lithuanian National Martin Mazvydas Library Uses ABBYY Recognition Technology to Develop Electronic Catalogue

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Lithuanian National Martin Mazvydas Library Uses ABBYY Recognition Technology to Develop Electronic Catalogue


"It was quite a difficult task – to find all the book’s features on a small library card (author’s name, book title, various codes, etc.) and then, as the icing of the cake, to recognize it all. Only the flexi-form technology of ABBYY and the FineReader recognition kernel allowed us to address our problems efficiently and proceed with our retroconversion project at the Lituanian National Martin Mazvydas Library".

Anatolij Juzefovic,

                              IT-department, head of Info-Tec


During a period of one year (June 1998 – May 1999) some 2 203 300 double-sided ?6 format documents (library cards of books and other literature), some 723 000 single-sided ?6 format document, and also some 70 000 ?5-?4 format pages of bibliographic literature were scanned. 

Then there was the next step of retroconversion – the recognition of the scanned cards. The flexi-form recognition technology of ABBYY Flexi Forms found and marked the following elements on their images: the name of the author, the book title, registration codes, inventory codes and other information. The task was quite complex, as the same fields were positioned differently on different cards, so that the system was first to find each particular field on each card; additional difficulties were due to the fact that there were both printed and handwritten texts on a card. The recognition results were exported to a Oracle SQL Server database and then went through a manual verification stage to be further used to enlarge the computerized library information search system (the info on books printed after 1992 was directly into this system, while the info on books printed before 1992 existed only in paper form). 

As of now, some 200 000 card in Lithuanian (both sides) are recognized and the process of their manual verification will be complete in short term Some 1 400 000 cards in Russian are already recognized, the process of their verification will begin as of January 2001. The process of recognition of other 400 000 in other languages will be complete in short term.

About Lithuanian National Library 

Lithuanian National Library was founded in 1919 as the Central Library of Lithuania. Because of war and subsequent loss of Vilnius, the LNB in the same year was transferred to Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania during the interwar period, where it stayed as long as until 1963 when it was moved back to Vilnius into a new specially designed building. The LNB is named after Martynas Mazvydas, the 16th-century author of the first Lithuanian book. The name of the LNB underwent several changes, an adjective "national" being officially added in 1989, although the library carried out functions of a national library since its inauguration and specially after it became a legal deposit library in 1936. The LNB is the main depository of Lithuanian printed heritage. Its primary aim is to collect and preserve all publications issued in Lithuanian, as well as publications related to Lithuania wherever printed. Parallel to its direct responsibilities as a national library, the LNB from 1991 functions as a parliamentary library. The LNB provides services to all its users with special emphasis to researchers and scholars. The LNB is the centre of the national bibliography, as well as the core of the research, preservation, automation and coordination of Lithuanian libraries. The LNB resources are available free of charge to every registered individual.

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