Books, photographs, magazines and videos can be found on the Digital Library of Venezuela César Rengifo, whose website was launched on December 10th in order to provide citizens with quick access to bibliographic and audiovisual collections of the National Library.
By accessing the library web address bibliotecadigital.bnv.gob.ve, citizens will find copies of the newspaper Correo del Orinoco, in nineteenth century versions; they can read an illustrated collection of Zulia state, Caracas plans of the nineteenth century, the Gazette of Caracas, photographs of Latin America and heritage collections, said the Executive Director of the Library, Sady Loaiza, at the official launch of the website.
"This project is giving great results today, because behind this website is a great team of people who for four years have worked hard so that people with a single click could meet part of the historical and cultural heritage that the National Library (BN) has", explained Loaiza.
"I want to thank the employees of the Library who have done a wonderful job and worked tirelessly to realize this dream. I thank everybody who digitized books, journals, manuscripts, who supported us with converting information into metadata so it could be posted on the internet and all who were involved in gathering the material available today for everyone in this website" added Loaiza.
The executive said that the creation of this website is not to prevent the user from going to the library but instead strengthen the information available "because it provides immediate access to information which can supplement the search", she explained that all the material published on the website contains the exact location in the library "so that when you need that data to find the book or journal article the process is faster."
The Digital Library of Venezuela Cesar Rengifo also allows access to texts like Manual del Forastero (1810), which is attributed to Andres Bello and the First Guitar Handbook published in Venezuela, "things that are gems, treasures, the documentary heritage of this nation today is effective as a way to preserve these collections, scanning is a way to preserve the historical memory", said Loaiza.
Towards a new stage
For Ana Caldera, member of the Library Technical Services team, the launch of the National Library website, under the Ministry of Popular Power for Culture, is heading towards a new stage in which "young people find more attractive and useful information for today's generation available through smart phones".
She stressed that the Digital Library will continue to grow as they continue digitizing content "for now is a baby and will continue to grow as there’s a passionate team committed to the growth of this new project."
Caldera said that with this initiative Venezuela is at the level of other libraries in the world "which have already adopted this system and digital methodology that allows the user greater interaction with the institution."
A tribute to César Rengifo
This Digital Library of Venezuela is called César Rengifo in tribute to one of the most prolific creators of Venezuelan cultural history. "We didn’t hesitate to name it that way, due to the permanent search of Cesar to show the reality, who we are, the construction of memory and national identity, "said Loaiza, who asked the family of the playwright grant the rights to use the name.
At the launching of the website was present Flérida Rengifo, daughter of César Rengifo, who said that when she was told that they wanted the library bearing the name of his father she did not think twice and immediately accepted the proposal facilitating even some manuscripts that can now also be seen in the collection that appears on the website.
"My father was a great reader and surely would be happy with this. I feel this project is very important because it is about young readers today, because right now books aren’t appealing to them and this is a way to encourage reading people through technology", she said her speech.
Later she said that reading books was a great inspiration for the work developed by her father "because when one reads his works realizes that there is the history of Venezuela, so did his paintings, then you realize it was product of that reading of that investigation. So putting on this name to the library responds to an understanding of what it means for the country ", said Rengifo.