After the relaunch of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin’s website, I stumbled over the ZEFYS project or Zeitschrifteninformationssystem, a very long and technically sounding German composite term. Newspaper Information System is, at least to me, a bad choice, when it comes to a digital humanities project and possible search strings needed to be found on the internet. Despite being oddly named, it is truly brilliant: out-of-print German newspapers are digitized and provided through a unified interface to manyfold repositories (i.e. co-operating libraries). In addition, viewing software DFG Viewer and metadata structure (METS, MODS XML) are open source and provided under GPL. Thus, a high level of interoperability is provided.
Huzzah! Future home for possible post-doc project(s)?
Not yet. At the moment, the presentation tool of the DFG viewer is tailored to the broader public as only the image files are accessible; marked up xml files are not provided for download – heck, they are not even provided to the human eye reading the website. Some of the core collections (e.g. Prussian Gazettes) have been properly marked up with person and place names and the enhanced data is accessible through the ZEFYS own webinterface. However, again, the xml source files are not available to the public.