READ-COOP (Societas Cooperativa Europeae – SCE)

On 1st of July 2019 the READ project turned into a European Cooperative Society (SCE). READ-COOP SCE with limited liability serves as the basis for sustaining and further developing the Transkribus platform and related services and tools.

READ-COOP SCE will transform the work of scholars, archives and libraries not only in a technical but in a social way as well: collaboration accross borders of any kind – national, geographic, or sectoral will become possible in a highly flexible way. 

Institutions and private persons involved with digitisation of cultural heritage are warmly invited to become a member as well!

READ-COOP will be based on the EU directive of a European Cooperative (SCE). but it is open to members outside of the European Community as well.

An SCE

  • is a legal entity that allows its members to carry out common activities, while preserving their independence
  • has the principal objective of satisfying its members’ needs and not the return of capital investment
  • allows members to benefit proportionally to their profit and not to their capital contribution.

With this governance model we are able 

  • to fulfil our public mission in providing services that enable archives, libraries and researchers to access historical documents in a powerful and competitive way
  • to sustain and further develop the Transkribus platform and products such as the ScanTent
  • to provide a community driven portal for gathering and sharing documents, transcriptions, technology and knowledge among members and the public
  • to constantly improve technology such as text recognition, layout analysis and related technologies in close relationship with research groups and technology providers

The main benefits for members are:

  • Collaborative approach for setting up services and projects (“sharing is caring”)
  • Access to and discount on services offered by the Transkribus platform
  • Securing grants on national and international level
  • Making decisions in a democratic way – the final say has the general meeting of all members
  • SCEs provide direct benefit for members (no shareholder value)

Since 200 years cooperatives are a successful model for many business sectors (agriculture, banking, forestry, green energy,…). The EU Commission is therefore explicitely supporting the foundation of cooperatives.

The READ-COOP SCE, however, is the first one dealing with the digital transformation in the reseach and cultural sector!

READ-COOP SCE was set up in close collaboration with the Raiffeisen Association of Austria and their service “kooperieren.at”. We are highly thankful for the excellent service provided by the Raiffeisen Association – without this support it would not have been possible to realize this idea.

Founding members

  • University of Innsbruck (UIBK) – AUT
  • University of Greifswald (UG) – GER
  • Innsbruck University Innovations (IUI) – AUT
  • Günter Mühlberger (private) – AUT
  • Melissa Terras (private) – SCO
  • State Archives of the Canton Zuerich (StAZh) – SUI
  • National Archive Finland (NAF) – FIN
  • University Erlangen-Nürnberger (FAU) –  GER
  • CompGen (Computer Genealogy) – GER
  • Naverlabs Europe (NLE)
  • Technical University Valencia (UPVLC) – ESP
  • Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS) – FIN
  • Passau Bistum Archive (ABP) – GER
  • University of Edinburgh (UEDIN) – SCO
  • Rick Companje (private) – NED
  • British Library – GBR
  • National Archive Norway (NAN) – NOR
  • University of Vienna (UNIVIE) – AUT
  • University of Rostock (URO) – GER
  • The Utrecht Archives (HUA) – NED
  • Eva Lang – GER
  • Fondazione Banca di Napoli – ITA
  • More to come… Join the ride!

Boards

READ-COOP is run by a board of directors consisting of Günter Mühlberger (chair), Andy Stauder (managing director) and Melissa Terras.  The board is supervised and elected by the General meeting of  all members which will meet at least once a year.

Invitation to take part

  • More than 20 institutions and private persons have already joined  READ-COOP – and as an SCE we welcome every new member!
    • Membership share for institutions
    • EUR 1000 – 1 vote in the General Meeting (minimum)
    • EUR 2000 – 2 votes
    • EUR 3000 – 3 votes
    • EUR 4000 – 4 votes
    • EUR 5000 – 5 votes (maximum)
    • Private Persons
    • EUR 250 – 1 vote
  • The yearly membership fee is 25% of the share. Figures might be adapted on request of members.
  • Founding members (i.e. those who will be among the first round of members) are expected to buy 20 shares (5000 EUR).
  • Here you find a general invitation letter for all those who are interested to join READ-COOP and need to convince their supervising board to make the right decision.

In order to become a member of READ-COOP please fill in the following document and send it to the address indicated below:

Statutes of READ-COOP

The statutes of READ-COOP are the “bible” for our future work. Please read them carefully. They are compliant with the EU directive on European Cooperatives as well as with national Austrian legislation and related laws.

Documents

Contact us for more information.