Fiction is a part of culture of the nation. The better it’s presented in the cyberspace, the better popularization and distribution of Belarusian culture and language is, and the more people have access to it. As a result, it means an expansion of intercultural communications and mutual understanding between people.
The Internet is the global computer network which actually is, as a matter of fact, the world virtual library. On the Internet it is possible to find information on any topic and question in a short time. Certainly, it is impossible to see in absolute terms the advantages of the Internet and to ignore harmful and dangerous information on some web-resources. However, it is necessary to realize that at present the Internet is a huge information system used by more than one billion people that makes the one seventh part of the world population. For the European countries these numbers are most significant. More than a half of European population (which totals about 500 million people) are active Internet users.
According to forecast of the known research company Forrester Research, in 2013 the number of users all over the world will increase in 45 %, up to 2,2 billion people, the countries of Asia will be in the lead with 45 % of users, while the rate of growth in the USA, Western Europe and other developed countries will decrease in 1–3 %.
At present the monopoly of developed countries on access to the global computer network is giving place to more uniform distribution of users in different countries and regions. It can become one of factors which will help developing countries and the countries with transitive economy, on the one hand, to expand the borders of intercultural communications by promoting interchange and mutual enrichment of cultures, allowing all nations to show the features of their cultures and to take part in formation of cultural potential of human civilization, and on the other hand, it will provide preservation, development and popularization of national cultures and languages in the world. In these conditions Internet-access to resources of national fiction gets a special importance. Being a sphere of common interests, the best literary works promote formation of a positive image of this or that nation presenting to the world community its cultural properties.
Among Belarusian search systems and catalogues allowing the most complete and efficient search of Belarusian literature it is possible to note the following: all.by – Open.by: All Belarusian Internet; catalog.tut.by – a catalogue of Belarusian Internet-resources TUT.by; poisk.com – a catalogue of websites; search system: Bynet + Runet; akavita.by – a catalogue-rating of Belarusian websites; br.by – a catalogue of the Bynet resources, Belarusian rating; zubr.com – a register of Belarusian www-resources. The catalogue of Belarusian Internet-resources TUT.by is most useful: in the section Literature contains a list of links to 177 sites. Other Belarusian search systems are less efficient than Russian and foreign Яndex, Rambler, Апорт!, Google, Yahoo!, Altavista. Thus the most effective are systems Яndex and Google containing a maximum of information corresponding to the topic of inquiry.
Other search systems duplicate information that is less systematical and relevant. The analysis of Belarusian and foreign search systems leads to the conclusion that sites containing information on Belarusian literature can be classified in the groups as follow:
- literary sites containing news on modern Belarusian literary life, reviews, criticism, theoretical materials, catalogues of publishing houses, biographies of writers and texts of literary works: Беларуская палічка / Belarusian Bookshelf, Беларуская электронная бібліятэка / Belarusian Electronic Library, Белорусская цифровая библиотека / Belarusian Digital Library, Літара.net, Камунікат, Кнігарня. Творы і біяграфіі беларускіх пісьменнікаў і паэтаў / Library. Works and Biographies of Belarusian Writers and Poets, Библиотека белорусской литературы / Library of Belarusian Literature, Proza.by a national poetical portal Вершы беларускіх паэтаў / Verses of Belarusian Poets, Беларускія аўтары / Belarusian Authors;
- personal websites of authors and translators: Leonid Dayneko, Yanka Zolak, Vladimir Korotkevich, Grigori Krushina, Pavel and Piotr Sushko, Vasili Siomukha and others;
- sites of journals and newspapers: Дзеяслоў / Predicate, Калоссе / Ears, Тэксты / Texts, ARCHE, Nihil, Правінцыя / Province, u8220 Аксамітны Жах / Velvet Horror, Наша Ніва / Our Field;
- literary projects Швэдзка-беларускі культурны праект. 4+4+4 / Swedish-Belarusian Cultural Project 4+4+4, Старонка пачынаючых аўтараў / First-Time Authors’ Page, Zviarok, Litteratura Albаruthenica;
- news aggregation sites containing with writers’ interviews and statements;
- websites of institutions and organizations, for example, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus;
- websites containing reference editions, for example, slounik.org with a reference book Беларускія пісьменнікі / Belarusian Writers including brief biographies and the main works of 719 Belarusian authors, Wikipedia;
- publishers’ websites, for example Мастацкая літаратура / Fiction, Беларускі кнігазбор / Belarusian Book Collection, Белорусский дом печати / Belarusian Publishing House;
- libraries’ websites, for example, the National Library of Belarus , regional libraries;
- educational sites: resources for teachers containing materials on Belarusian language and literature and texts of Belarusian authors (http://biblioteka.by/copyright.htm, http://belkabinet.ucoz.ru), and also sites containing essays, degree theses and term papers on literature;
- sites of Internet-bookstores (Oz.by etc);
- sites of educational institutions;
- sites containing biographies of Belarusian writers and texts of literary works;
- virtual museums of I. Melezh, A. Makayonok, M. Bogdanovich and others;
- blogs of Belarusian literati (Vika Trenas’ blog and others).
Thus there is a lot of various information but unfortunately it is not always systematized, besides not all resources are qualitative. Electronic libraries of fiction representing only texts of literary works actually don’t exist. The existing web-resources represent a symbiosis of literary criticism and fiction. The greatest amount of works of Belarusian authors are mainly on the sites Belarusian Bookshelf, Belarusian Electronic Library and Verses of Belarusian Poets.
A virtual project "Classics of world literature Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: to the 130th anniversary" created on the Internet-portal of the National Library of Belarus is a special anniversary rubric dedicated to famous writers, founders of the new Belarusian literature and the modern Belarusian language.
The project provides an opportunity to get acquainted in detail with the biographies of folk writers, their literary legacy (sections “Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: the chronicles of life and work”, "Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: contemporaries, brothers-in-arms, people of the same age"), comparing the events of the same years in the life and work of both writers.
The works published in periodicals, as well as the first lifetime editions of their works (collections of poems and short stories, narrative poems, novels, plays, collections of works for children, books with translations, the first collected works, separate works, etc.) from the funds of the NLB are also available for users through remote access.
More than 100 editions of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas were digitized for the project. It is about 30 thousand pages of text material which are presented in an electronic library and on the Internet-portal of the NLB.
Disclosed, digitized and put 4 audio records from Yanka Kupala’s and Yakub Kolas’s performances, 8 records of their works performed by well-known artists are set in the section "Listening to Kupala and Kolas". Audio records of 22 musical compositions based on the poems by Belarusian masters which differ by genre, content, subject-matter, performance manner are available in the section "Singing songs and romances based on the classics’ poems".
The writers’ collected works were republished more than once, and Belarusian book graphics considered it an honor to create original illustrations for each publication. So, the illustrations of 50 reputed artists were disclosed, digitized and presented (section "Gallery: artists-illustrators of the works of Kupala and Kolas") in order to demonstrate their variety in the literary heritage of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas.
All materials are provided in three languages: Belarusian, Russian and English.
Such a variety of resources allows the world community to learn better Belarusian literature and also it will be useful for scientific and educational work.
Among the Internet-resources containing data on life and creative activity of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas, it is possible to name the following:
- websiteYakub Kolas
- website Yanka Kupla
- website Yakub Kolas State Literary and Memorial Museum
- website Yanka Kupala State Literary Museum
- Classics of world literature Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: to the 130th anniversary: a virtual project of the National Library of Belarus
- Classics of world literature Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: a virtual project dedicated to the 125th anniversary of Kupala and Kolas on the site Archives of Belarus
- poetical sites of Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala on the National Poetical Portal
- information about Yakub Kolas and Yanka Kupala на on the portal of the National Tourist Agency
- the classics’ works on the site The Library of Belarusian Literature
- biographies and works of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas on the site Родныя вобразы / The Native Images
- the classics’ works on the site сайте Belarusian Bookshelf
- biogrphies and works of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas on the site Belarusian Electronic Library
- brief biographies of the people’s writers of Belarus on the site Родная мова / The Mother Tongue
- Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas in English on the site Беларуская літаратура ў англійскіх перакладах / Belarusian Literature in English Translations
- Раманава, Ж. Л. Інфармацыйныя рэсурсы беларускай мастацкай літаратуры ў прасторы Інтэрнет / Ж. Л. Раманава // Веснік Беларускага дзяржаўнага універсітэта культуры і мастацтваў. – 2010. – № 1. – С. 112–120. – Рэзюмэ на бел. і англ. мовах. – Бібліягр.: с. 119–120.