The Russia Beyond Russia Digital Library
The concept of the Russia Beyond Russia (RBR) Digital Library is the creation of a digital library documenting the Russian Diaspora. Materials from the André Savine Collection serve as the foundation for the RBR Digital Library. Each sub-collection within the André Savine Collection will be represented in its own module. The Core Module database, serving as an index hub, will link all modules using a relational database application that provides users with fully searchable, machine-readable, electronic text via the Internet. Text can be displayed either in Cyrillic or transliterated form. Transliteration follows the Library of Congress transliteration scheme for Russian letters, with the exception of three letters: in the system used here, Ё = E", Й = I', and Э = E'. Search functions are available in both Cyrillic and transliteration.
The objective of this database structure is to show relationships between people, places, and organizations throughout all modules, while also allowing users to trace the life events of many of those represented in the collection as a whole. The overall architectural design of the RBR Core Module database (see diagram below) takes into consideration plans for future digitization of materials in the André Savine Collection and beyond.
Indexes have been developed for all instances of title (monographic, serial, series); for personal, place, and corporate body names; for subjects as assigned by Savine; and for occupational titles. Once the materials in the collection are cataloged for the UNC University Library, with Library of Congress subject headings, the Core Module records will be linked to these catalog records. This will give scholars yet another way to discover these materials. In addition, the Core Module records will be linked to full digitized text when digital content becomes available.
Access to the RBR Core Module database is provided via an open source–based searching and indexing engine that has keyword and complex querying capabilities, and via browsing. In browsing mode, each indexed term indicates the number of records associated with that particular term, and is linked to the records display.
The RBR Core Module database application provides users with Russian-language functionalities (search and retrieval), and employs current metadata standards for consistent resource description, discovery, navigation, and maintenance. The creation of such an "expandable" database, to which new modules could be added, indexed in the Core Module, and searched globally, fosters interoperability across systems and collections, and provides opportunities for future cross-institutional cooperation.
Russia Beyond Russia (RBR) Digital Library schematic. This diagram shows the proposed modules that comprise the RBR Digital Library, with the Core Module (index hub) comprised of information from Savine's index cards and notebook pages.