BEIC Overview

BEIC Overview

It aims to provide an avant-garde platform to Italy and Milan which offers access to information and knowledge in all forms. It is based on the networking of bibliographical and documentary resources collected from Milan and the metropolitan area institutions and through the extensive use of the most advanced digital technologies. Its central node is represented by the brand new central library.

The project involves the construction of an extensive platform for collecting, cataloguing, organizing, consulting and disseminating cultural resources, mainly through two different environments:

  • the virtual platform. It is an innovative digital archive, competitive at an international level, based on established policies and agreements with the main library institutions all over the continent;
  • the physical library. It consists of reading rooms, interdisciplinary research meeting places, information literacy and well known for its central location, the architectural quality and the excellence of the services.

The scheme, which includes the renovation of municipal libraries, will provide the city with a network of cultural multipurpose environments dedicated to education, research, creativity, reading, studying and leisure. It is intended to be core for the promotion of cultural activities to increase the "social capital" of the city and the region.

The digital BEIC

The digital BEIC has developed an interdisciplinary and multimedia platform which provides, in accordance with the current intellectual property laws:

  • Access to a wide range of major works written by the most celebrated authors of the European humanistic and scientific culture from ancient times to the present. All these works have been digitized by BEIC in full text and equipped by advanced search and retrieval functions by the use of innovative techniques;
  • access to a wide range of special collections of special collections of scientific, literary, bibliographic books and documents, photos, music and video;
  • an accurate selection of web sites to support the research in different fields of knowledge;
  • Open educational resources for high schools and the universities;
  • access to a range of digital documentary archives (music, painting and sculpture, photography, speech, inventions, empowerment, globalization, historical archives of Milan and local memories);
  • platforms and training (both in physical and virtual presence) about multimedia, technologies, information literacy, copyright, open access and open source, interoperability and reusability;
  • a next generation online public access catalogue (OPAC) of all the works published in Lombardia from 2006 to 2012. BEIC is entrusted of its managements by the regional authorities and the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense.

Explore the BeicDL


The physical dimension

The resize of the original project meets the limited resources availability and allows the project to sustain itself.

The original design was on an area of about 65.000 square meters; it can be resized to 20.000 square meters (in addition to 5.000 square meters for local facilities and parking) reducing the space for the storage, the number of seats and special services.

These parameters are aligned with the major European libraries built in the last five years.

The main functional requirements of the new library are:

  • open shelves with about 200.000 volumes in sight, the largest and most modern collection in Italy, supported by a wide availability of multimedia, with particular attention to works in accessible formats for readers with special needs;
  • 500 seats, spread among the various areas;
  • a centralized repository of adequate size (roughly 1.5 million units), with the purpose of rationalize the location of the collections, currently fragmented into several buildings;
  • hosting the Regional Archives of works published in Lombardy;
  • workspaces and tools to host and manage second level services like cataloging, acquisitions policy, interlibrary loan.

The systemic dimension

The core role of the BEIC will raise it as the central unit of the other public and academic libraries of Milan. This will leads to a radical renovation of the services based on the requalification of the existing units, therefore portion of the available funds will be dedicated to accomplish it.

The pillars of the system are:

  • Milan public libraries (Biblioteca centrale at Palazzo Sormani, local libraries and special libraries);
  • academic libraries (Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Università Cattolica del sacro Cuore; Politecnico di Milano, Università commerciale "Luigi Bocconi");
  • Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense;
  • regional public libraries.

BEIC will collaborate with international libraries and institutions creating a worldwide multilingual and multidisciplinary network.