With the decision of the UNHCR. No 5406 / 03-04-2008 the contest of the project “Digitizing Material Public Libraries” was awarded. The project is included in the Operational Program “Information Society” Axis “Education and Culture” and it is implemented by the Special Application Service of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs.
The objective of the project is the digitization of printed material (books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, etc.) of public libraries to be on the internet at the disposal of the public, free of charge. 46 public libraries of the Ministry of Education have joined this project, including the Central Public Historical Library of Ioannina, ?Zosimaia?.
The Library ?Zosimaia? has one of the richest collections of incunabula and rare items in the country. 1,916,649 out of the 3,000,000 pages, which were first selected from all the collections of the library, were ultimately digitized. The digitized material corresponds to 4,278 books, 255 periodical publications and two maps. Also, the oldest book of the library, the first edition of Stefanos Byzantios? work, ?De Urbibus?, published in Venice by Aldus Manutius; a very rare book, since it doesn?t bear the printer?s mark, Aldus? anchor. Most of this material is already cataloged. Retrospective cataloging will continue.
The objectives of the Digital Library are the promotion of Greek culture through intellectual production, the dissemination of knowledge through new technologies and the facilitation of research while ensuring the protection of physical material so that the treasures of our cultural heritage are passed to future generations and live forever.