Virtual German State Bibliography

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The Virtual German State Bibliography is a bibliography accessible on the Internet that enables a comprehensive search in German state and regional bibliographies . It is based on the technology of the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog and has been online since 2001. For Germany, it is the most important search option for regional or site-specific literature. The Virtual German State Bibliography is maintained by the state libraries in the individual federal states.


The first state bibliographies have been made available online on the Internet since 1995. Over time, the idea arose to offer a common interface for bundled research in the various collections in addition to the individual offers. At the initiative of the Regional Bibliography Working Group, which coordinates the work of the individual state and regional bibliographical offices, a metasearch was developed based on the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK) introduced in 1996. The implementation of this metasearch as "Virtual German State Bibliography" (VDL) took place at the Karlsruhe University Library (today: KIT Library ), where it is still hosted today. The first version of the VDL went online in summer 2001. Pilot participants were the state bibliographies of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate; by the end of 2004 twelve of the 15 existing state bibliographies had been integrated. In the meantime, the three remaining bibliographies have also been integrated: Finally, the "Thuringia Bibliography" was added. Development and operation of the VDL were not organized on a project basis, as is usual with similar companies, but rather through individual cooperation agreements: Bibliography providers who want to participate in the VDL conclude a contract with the KIT library and pay a lump sum for the programming costs of integrating the respective databases. Plans for the future are to supplement the searchable databases with bibliographies from smaller regions (such as the Schaumburg Bibliography) and expand them beyond Germany: With the addition of Austrian and German- Swiss bibliographies, the "Virtual German State Bibliography" could develop into the "Virtual German -Language State Bibliography" .

Databases, indexing and metasearch

There are numerous differences between the bibliographies involved, e.g. B. with regard to the recording period, the type of material considered, the type of subject indexing , the specific search options, etc. Information on the individual bibliographies is compiled on an overview page. All bibliographies are continuously updated by the respective editorial offices.

The publications collected from the bibliographies include not only books, but also articles from anthologies and journals, audiovisual and electronic media, and gray literature . The share of dependent literature makes up about 2/3 of the holdings; one could therefore also call the VDL a large database of articles. In addition to indexing using key words, the individual bibliographies use classifications that can be used to systematically search the holdings.

A metasearch across multiple bibliographies has several advantages. On the one hand, there are numerous areas of overlap, since many topics are dealt with by several bibliographies. So z. E.g. an important personality was born in one federal state but worked in another, certain regions are part of several federal states, large companies are active at several locations in different regions, etc. On the other hand, the regional bibliographies are not only for regionally boundaries Questions useful, but they can also be of interest for general questions due to the collection of gray literature, the deep indexing and the broad range of topics that results from the collected literature.

However, there are some points in which the VDL, due to its meta search engine character, does not allow the same search scope as the individual bibliographies. So is z. For example, a systematic search via the VDL is not possible because the bibliographies use individual classifications that cannot be integrated into an overall system. (However, the clear linking of the bibliographies enables quick access to the original database and thus to the respective classification.) Additional functions such as restricting the number of hits according to certain criteria, the use of search filters or searching in digitized card catalogs are only available in the individual Bibliographies possible directly. Since in the databases z. Sometimes different numbers of keyword search fields are used, it may also be that the search words from the three fields of the VDL search mask cannot always be transferred to the corresponding search fields in the individual bibliographies. Due to these technical restrictions, the VDL metasearch cannot replace research in the individual bibliographies: It is to be understood as a portal for the bibliographies involved, which is well suited for starting a search or for a supplementary search; a comprehensive search for a region should always be carried out in the corresponding database itself. In addition, the older printed editions of the bibliographies should also be taken into account until the information from them has been transferred to the databases.

Research in the VDL

As a meta search , the VDL enables multiple databases to be queried at the same time. In addition to the formal search for title , author , corporation and year of publication of the listed works, there are three fields for a factual search: subject term , person , place / region . The entered search words are automatically linked with "AND". Right truncation is possible with the "?" Symbol; in some bibliographies it is automatically truncated. The search queries are passed on to the selected bibliographies; the search results are - in contrast to z. B. to DigiBib , which summarizes the hits from different sources in a list - output in individual short hit lists, from which the entry in the original database is linked. The VDL does not have its own search index. Another typical feature of meta searches is the fact that the search in the VDL for Recall and Precision has worse values ​​than searches in the individual databases.

See also


  • Heidrun Wiesenmüller, Ludger Syré: The Virtual German State Bibliography . In: Ludger Syré, Heidrun Wiesenmüller (Ed.): The regional bibliography in the digital age. Germany and its neighboring countries (=  magazine for libraries and bibliography. Special volume 90). Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-465-03461-9 , pp. 129-138 .
  • Ludger Syré: The German state libraries and their product state bibliography . In: libraries today . tape 6 , no. 1 , 2010, p. 3-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence