University Improves Access to its Collection


The University of Southampton Library supports a community of approximately 35,000 students and staff, providing access to an expansive collection in excess of 1.5 million books and many millions of pages of archive material. The Library recently embarked on programme to digitise a large number of its key texts through the Library Digitisation Unit (LDU). The LDU is a flagship enterprise in the academic sector and specialises in the digital capture of a range of materials for repositories or web distribution via URL links in the Library catalogue. The University Library’s approach is to provide open access to the digital material that it creates, wherever this is appropriate and permissible.

Key Features

The Library selected Recognition Server because it perfectly matched their requirements – delivery of high quality OCR on printed texts; a broad variety of output options; and an open API for easy integration with other programs. The Library wanted to integrate Recognition Server with the Unit’s Intranda GmbH workflow software, Goobi. The Goobi Production Workflow software is a web application that manages and tracks the Library’s digitisation projects. Additional considerations in ABBYY’s favour were the level of after-sales support and the affordable maintenance.


A powerful and accurate OCR is an integral component of the Library Digitisation Unit’s activities. Thanks to the increased throughput offered by ABBYY Recognition Server, Library staff are freed from the tedious work of manual OCR and millions of pages of documents from the University of Southampton’s collection are available online in digital formats to its students and to the wider world.

The ability to integrate ABBYY Recognition Server into our workflow was critical. The installation of ABBYY Recognition Server was quick. Initial feedback from ABBYY and their support team regarding any queries was rapid with good follow-up. We have been very happy with the results and look forward to using the product to continue to achieve our digitisation goals.

Julian BallUnit ManagerSouthampton University Library Digitisation Unit

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