Deutsche Zentralbücherei für Blinde

Media production

Braille production

The department for braille production is the biggest department of the DZB. The whole production process, involving the selection of literature by our lectors, transcription into braille, proofreading by a blind and a sighted colleague, printing and bookbinding is conducted in-house.

Recording studio

Talking books are extremely popular among people with print disabilities. The DZB has its own professional recording studio where all our talking books in DAISY format are produced. All the texts are read by professional narrators – often actors or radio presenters. While commercial producers often produce abridged versions of talking books, the DZB only produces unabridged versions in order to offer the listeners all information that would also be provided in a normal book.


The acronym DAISY stands for „Digital Accessible Information System“. It is a technological standard that was developed by libraries for the blind from all over the world, to meet the special needs of their users.

In contrast to usual audio-CDs, a DAISY-disc contains much more storage capacity as up to 40 hours of spoken material can be recorded onto one DAISY-disc. Hierarchy levels structure the information on a DAISY-disc and enable the user to navigate freely through the talking book, to jump back and forth from chapter to chapter, to set bookmarks and to regulate the speed of reading. The number of hierarchy levels on a DAISY-disc depends on the kind of information it contains. Usually non-fiction DAISY-books – such as encyclopaedias or cookbooks – contain a much more defined structure than fiction.

DAISY Consortium

The international DAISY Consortium, which was founded in 1996, promotes the worldwide propagation and standardised development of the DAISY-format. The vision of the consortium is „that one day all published information, at time of release to the general population, will be available in an accessible, highly functional, feature rich format and at no greater cost, to persons with print disabilities“.

To learn more about DAISY visit the website of the DAISY Consortium.

Relief - Manufacturing Techniques

The production of a relief starts by drawing the motif that shall be adapted for the blind user. In the eyes of sighted people this draft may look rather rough and raw, yet for the adaptation it is not necessary to convey every small detail. To gather information from a tactile image, characteristic lines and contours have to be displayed. Various materials are used to create different surfaces that are distinguishable from one another. Building a relief from different motifs such as flowers, geographical maps or fairy tale figures requires a profound knowledge of the nature of materials and fabrics, as well as a lot of imagination and creativity.

All the different parts that form the relief are fixed on a zinc plate. If necessary, braille letters can also be added to the zinc plate. Thus assembled, the stencil is ready for the vacuum thermoforming process. To produce the relief, the stencil is covered with a heated PVC-film. Then a pump vacuums the air so the heated film is pressed upon the stencil and adapts its forms. Thus, a stable and durable relief is produced.