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Digital Periodical Library

The City Library Professor Ernesto Manoel Zink, in Campinas, is about to win an electronic version of its periodical library, which has a collection of clippings from newspapers and magazines from 1952 onwards. Coordinated by researcher Clarinda Rodrigues Lucas, the director of the library of Unicamp's Institute of Philosophy and Humanities, this project enjoys the support of FAPESP's Program for Research in Public Policies. The collection to be preserved is an important source of research, and not only for primary and secondary school pupils. “The periodical library holds a major part of the memory of the city of Campinas and its region.

The idea of making the collection digital and putting it on the Internet is for it to be consulted by the public, and, above all, by the councilmen and politicians from the region, acting as a basis for the development of public municipal programs”, says Clarinda. The only one in the city, the periodical library's collection “gets a lot of touching and handling, and as the material is delicate, consisting of a clipping glued to a sheet of paper, it is being destroyed”, says Gláucia Pécora, the director of the Municipal Library of Campinas. “That is why the project is so important, since, in addition to preserving this collection in an electronic medium, it opens up new possibilities for research”, she says.

The newspapers and magazines library has over two thousand titles, including not only news about the region, which accounts for half of the collection, but also specific themes on science, culture, sports and other subjects, each one with five or six files full of clippings. “It is the main source for keeping the library updated, as we do not have the resources to buy books”, says Gláucia. Besides the information taken from newspapers and magazines, in a total of 60,000 pages in PDF (Portable Document Format) electronic format, the library's page on the Internet – still under construction, at the address – will also have copies of legislation and official documents of the Municipal Department of Education, with the intention of meeting the demand from the teachers in the public school network.

In the last stage of the project, forecast for November 2002, books will also be digitalized and put onto the Web, completing the construction of Campinas' virtual library. “The site will have extensive material for research”, says Clarinda, “to be used for work by students, class preparation by the teachers, and for consultation by authorities and officials from the public sector”. At the moment, the permanent sector of the Municipal Library of Campinas, where the periodical library is to be found, usually receives almost 6,000 users a month, who research some 5,800 topics from all areas.