The Saxon State Library is a library in Dresden that emanates from the merger of the state library with the university library.

Yesterday, Wikimedia Germany announced an extraordinary collaboration with one of the largest libraries in Germany, the Land Library of Saxony – State and University Library Dresden (SLUB). The collaboration will see roughly 250,000 images from the library made available to Wikimedia Commons under a creative commons license.

A translation of the German chapter press release (with huge thanks to user:Weasel for the translation) can be found below.  The info can also be found posted in German and English on the Wikimedia Commons:

Berlin, March 31, 2009
Meeting Point Wikipedia

Cooperation deal with one of the largest libraries sealed.

As the first German library, the Land Library of Saxony – State and
University Library Dresden (SLUB) has concluded a cooperation agreement
with Wikimedia Germany e.V. In a first step, the German Photo Collection
of the SLUB makes available ca. 250,000 image files from its repository
for free use to Wikimedia Commons, a sister project of Wikipedia.

The photos, the correspondent captions and further meta data will be
uploaded to Commons during the common months by voluntary helpers of
Wikimedia, then connected step-by-step with personal identification data
(? literally “personal norm data”, some kind of formalized assignment of
identification) and the relevant Wikipedia articles. Apart from that,
the metadata supplied by the German Photo Collection can be enriched,
commented on and supplied with geographical detail by Wikipedia users.
All results of this work are flowing back to the database of the German
Photo Collection. In this way, the SLUB too directly profits from the
new collaboration.

No rights of third parties concerning the image material supplied are
standing in the way of using it under the free license “Creative Commons
BY-SA 3.0”. The cooperation will, in the words of Dr Jens Bove, the
director of the German Photo Collection, “enhance the publicity and
reach of the photographic treasures of the German Photo Collection”. At
the same time, the SLUB is a clear testament to the support of the
international Open Access Initiative, which seeks open access to
scientific information. “The collaboration with one of the largest
scientific libraries in Germany with Wikimedia and the free media
repository Commons is another important step towards the free
availability of knowledge.”, explains Sebastian Moleski, director of
Wikimedia Deutschland.

“This cooperation is therefore exemplary for the strategy of Wikimedia
to make the knowledge of humanity accessible to anyone worldwide,” Free
Access to information, is the motto that is on top, too, of the
political agenda of the International Federation of Library Associations
and Institutions (IFLA). President of the IFLA, Prof Dr Claudia Lux, who
at the same time serves as general director of the Central and State
Library of Berlin, is therefore very pleased about the cooperation
between SLUB and Wikimedia: “This cooperation enables many people
worldwide to use library resources and thereby expand their knowledge.
That is a benefit for everyone!”

This is a great victory for SLUB, Wikimedia Germany, the Commons, and perhaps most importantly for all the users of the web, for now and, well . . . forever.

We know Wikimedia German has been very active in this space, and we can only expect more incredible partnerships like this to unfold in the coming months.  A special thanks to Mathias Schindler who has been particularly active and vocal in pushing these kinds of partnerships forward.  Prost!

Jay Walsh, Communications<