“A dream came true”
These words were spoken at the launch of the brand new Resource and Documentation Centre of EIGE in Vilnius, Lithuania, on October 1st. Different experts in the field of Gender Equality shared their dreams and visions about a central gateway to gender equality information.
Although the new centre is located in Vilnius, at EIGE (the European Institute on Gender Equality) the portal is available via the website and offers about 240.000 gender equality related titles (books, articles, periodicals, grey literature, online information and databases) from 5 women and gender libaries and documentation centers and EIGE . Besides the portal, the Research and Documentation Centre offers a database with Gender Equality related knowledge produced by EIGE and an online platform for discussion about gendder topics, called ‘Eurogende’
The portal was developed in a unique partnership with WINE libraries in Europe:
- Atria: Institute on Gender Equality and Women’s History in Amsterdam
- Amazone: Resource Centre for Equality between Women and Men in Brussels
- CID-femme et genre: Information and Documentation Centre for women and gender issues in Luxembourg
- Gender Library of the centre for trans disciplinary Gender Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin
- KvinnSam: National Resource Library for Gender Studies at Gothenburg University
Some of you might remember how this cooperation started 3 years ago. In the summer of 2010 EIGE, the European Institute for Gender Equality, sent a letter to several Women and Gender Information Centers in Europe and asked us ‘to assist with the creation of a library and database by sending any products, publications, brochures in any format…and in any of the EU languages’ that have been produced in the last 5 years’ and informed if we could help them to develop a Resource center. At the time EIGE was (for most of us ) a new player in the field of Gender information.Women and Gender Information Centers in Europe, all members of WINE ( the Women’s Information Network Europe) had a disappointing experience with the same EU. A projectproposal aimed to work towards the creation of a European Women’s Digital Library was rejected in 2005. So when we received the invitation from EIGE it was an opportunity to make our plans for the European Women’s Digital Library come true, in cooperation with EIGE.
The long term goal for EIGE was:
- To create a future platform of existing gender information/resource centres and libraries in Europe
- to offer a single point of access to these resources through one common search engine, reference service and bibliographical database
The power of information
was discussed by several gender experts and policymakers of the EU at the conference that took place to celebrate the launch of the Resource and Documentation Centre. Agnes Hubert of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) memorised the joint publication of Marieke Kramer (at the time working for IIAV, now Atria), Amsterdam) and Jytte Larsen (KVINFO, Kopenhagen) ‘Resources for providing information and documentation in the field of equal treatment for men and women in the European Communities by IIAV and KVINFO (1991). This report contains a ammping of women’s information centres in the EU at the time and an analysis of possibilities to improve the exchange of gender information on a European level.
More than 20 years have passed since. WINE (the Women’s Information Network Europe) has been active to promote partnerships and collaboration to make women and gender information accessible and availbale. EIGE’s portal is the promising start of a succesful cooperation. More than 90% of the resources in the portal are harvested by EIGE from the collections of the partners. By expanding this cooperation with more partners (KVINFO just signed an agreement to join!) we might finally get the ‘European Women’s Digital Library’we have been dreaming of….
EIGE’s Resource and Documentation Centre http://eige.europa.eu/rdc