More and more editors and public libraries and centres for documentation
digitise newspapers. In Belgium, digitisation of daily newspapers is just starting.
Two small scale, but innovative initiatives should be mentioned here: first
of all, the Erfgoedcel (heritage cell) of the city of Ieper took the initiative to
digitise the nineteenth-century local press. Secondly, the library of the city of
Ostend digitised a set of local newspapers from the nineteenth and first half
of the twentieth century. Further initiatives are taken at all levels of the
Belgian state. To avoid overlap and waste of money, coordination is necessary,
taking into account the complex institutional structure of the Belgian state.
This coordination is the aim of Presse-Papier, the national project for the
preservation of Belgian newspapers. Representatives of the different types of
institutions who keep newspapers, meet regularly and a central database of all
the Belgian newspapers will facilitate coordination and cooperation.
Digitisation shows that newspapers are a quite original historical source, and
because a newspaper includes information on all aspects of society, economy
and politics, it can be interesting for the general public as well. Moreover,
digitisation offers new opportunities for research, which is less time consuming.