The Digital Montenegrin Bibliography Project

     The National Library of Montenegro "Đurđe Crnojević", playing the leading role in the development of national library services, initiated and completed the project entitled The Digital Montenegrin Bibliography. All previously published issues of the retrospective Montenegrin Bibliography 1494-1994 (MB) have been digitized. This project facilitates the use and provides easy access to the enormous amount of bibliographic information. The implementation of the project, which represents a significant step towards further development of the library information system, as well as a support to the system of scientific information in Montenegro, was funded by the Ministry of Culture.

History of MB

     Retrospective national bibliographies fulfill aspirations to collect and present the overall creative achievements of a nation, expressed in written or another form. They provide a unique source of information for the research of every aspect of social life.
     Taking into account that many nations have compiled their national – retrospective and current bibliographies long time ago, considering them to be an essential scientific and cultural need of each developed society, in 1979 the National Library of Montenegro launched the Retrospective MB project with the aim to accumulate in one place – between the covers of a single set of volumes – all the material published in Montenegro and about its people, either in the form of monographs, serials, discussions, articles and literary reviews in serials, or collections of works in both the local and foreign languages.
     MB covers half a millennium long period of time, which starts with the first printed Cyrillic book in this part of Europe Oktoih Prvoglasnik (Octoechos the First Voice) printed in the Crnojević printing press in 1494, and ends in 1994. Apart from the books listed in the first volume, this edition comprises a list of serial titles given in the second volume, covering the period from the first Montenegrin serial Grlica issued in 1835 until 1994. The third volume is the most extensive one as it compiles selective lists of articles published in serials. Fifteen books covering the period 1494-1985 have been issued to date, whereas the remaining three typescripts are to be issued soon to cover the period until 1994. The fourth volume contains bibliographies in foreign languages: Russian, Czech, Italian and English.The Bibliography of books on Montenegro in the languages of nations and minorities from former SFRY – until 1994 has been prepared and is expected to appear by the end of 2012.

Selection criteria for MB

     The Montenegrin Bibliography 1494-1994 is founded upon a wide scientific basis. Three selection criteria have been used for the inclusion of material: territorial, national and subject.

     Under the territorial criterion, MB includes:
     - all books, brochures and printed music published on the territory of Montenegro since 1494 regardless of the language, alphabet and author’s ethnic origin (exempt from this rule are titles printed for the publishers registered elswhere – after 1945);
     - all books, brochures and printed music published by Montenegrin publishers but printed out of the country;
     - all official publications printed in Montenegro, as well as those published by Montenegrin publishers but printed out of the country;
     - all serial titles: gazettes, newspapers, journals, almanacs, yearbooks, bulletins and chronicles with supplements, commemorative editions of academies and associations, reports issued over a long period of time bearing continuous nimbering, printed or published in Montenegro;
     - selection of articles and contributions in serials which meet the criteria defined for monographs and serials.

     Under the national criterion, the Montenegrin Bibliography comprises:
     - all works written by Montenegrins and other authors originating from Montenegro published out of Montenegro, regardless of the language and alphabet;
     - works produced by printers of Montenegrin origin printed abroad.

     Following the subject criterion, MB comprises entries relating to Montenegro and its people.

Structure of MB

     MB is published in four volumes, each containing a number of books / issues depending on the amount of bibliographic material. The volumes are structured in this way:
Vol. I - monographs (book 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10);
Vol. II - serials (book 1,2);
Vol. III - discussions, articles and literary contributions in serials (selective inclusion of works; book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15);
Vol. IV - ’exteriorica’ – works by foreign authors relating to Montenegro and its people (selective inclusion; book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
     Monographs are catalogued according to the international ISBD(M) standard, for serials ISBD(S) standard is used, whereas the entries in the third volume (articles) are catalogued in compliance with the then valid rules applied for the analytical cataloguing of serials. All the material (except Vol. IV) is catalogued and classified according to the UDC system. International standards for bibliographic description are not applied to IV Volume (foreign authors on Montenegro), however, the editors created bibliographic entries according the rules applied in their respective countries. Each book includes indexes of authors, translators, editors, subjects, identified initials, codes and pseudonyms, and lists of references and resources.

Procedures and standards of digitization

     Over the past three decades of hard work on the MB project, outstanding results have been achieved. Within the four volumes 32 books have been published on 15,030 pages of encyclopedic format. They list a total of 229,611 bibliographic entries which refer to incunabula, paleotypes, books, serials, and contributions in serials. This database represents the most comprehensive treasury of the Montenegrin creativity and an indispensable tool for scientific and other research work.
     Digitization of the retrospective bibliography of Montenegro started by the process of scanning of the complete material. The images of scanned pages are stored in JPG format, providing appropriate quality for scrolling and browsing. The pages containing indexes are transformed into textual files by means of software for optical character recognition. This allows various search and printout options, while at the same time the database and the implemented software tools meet users’ needs and offer the possibility of bibliographic editing.
     Perl, PHP and Javascript are the languages used for making entries, search and display of the bibliography, and the database type is MySQL. Presentation is made available online and in DVD format.
     The database is searchable online, while the DVD version offers the possibility of navigation by selection among indexes and lists of initial letters given for each index. Searching and sorting are adjusted to the Cyrillic script of the bibliography. Both presentation formats provide simple search in such a way that the selected term easily leads to the corresponding entry. Bibliographic entry provides link to the scanned page which contains the required bibliographic record.
     Navigation through the DVD edition is possible via three main pages. These three pages show books, indexes and scanned pages. The index page allows smooth navigation from one to another index, as well as transfer from an entry to an appropriate scanned page. From the page which shows volumes and books one can choose a particular bibliography, view the list of available indexes and select the suitable one. The page with scanned bibliographies offers standard tools for enlargement and reduction of item viewed, while the screen always shows two adjacent pages, which is designed to facilitate comparison of the content. In addition, navigation options include browsing through pages and provide direct access to the selected page.

     We are confident that the Montenegrin Bibliography in digital form will appeal to a much larger number of users and that the richness of bibliographic information will serve as an inspiration to researchers for further scientific achievements and popular works.

Jelena Đurović
Editor in Chief