Even though the ebooks market has developed more slowly in France than in other countries, especially in northern America and northern Europe, the number of titles proposed is now increasing. The ebook production and distribution chain has been clarified, while major standard ebooks formats (EPUB, PDF) and metadata schemes (ONIX) have emerged. A growing number of French citizens are currently using ebooks to access knowledge, culture and entertainment. Being able to collect this new kind of resource in order to preserve it in the long term has thus become a major challenge for the national library of France.
In order to tackle this issue and to set up a complete ebook deposit workflow, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France or BnF) benefits from its experience in managing digital documents (for its digital library, Gallica) and from its tradition of legal deposit. It also seeks to capitalise on the long-standing relationships it has built with the publishers and the ebooks distributor. However, the Library needs to deal with the dual nature of ebooks, which are on one hand digital documents, collected in the name of the internet legal deposit, and on the other hand a new form of a kind of document that has been acquired by the library for centuries.
This paper aims to present the questions that the BnF needed to answer when faced with the need of collecting ebooks, and the solution it is currently adopting. Technical implementation has just begun and the outcomes – a complete entry, cataloguing, access and preservation workflow – are expected at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015 (…) »