museum-digital: making participation in europeana possible

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Presentation introducing the German project museum-digital to czech-museum. Given in Prague September 30, 2009

Presentation introducing the German project museum-digital to czech-museum. Given in Prague September 30, 2009

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  • 1. don't dream it …
  • 2. museum-digital is an initiative that started February 2009 in Sachsen-Anhalt (one of the federal states in Germany)
  • 3. museum-digital is an initiative that started February 2009 in Sachsen-Anhalt (one of the federal states in Germany) 6 member-museums of the regional (Federal State) museum association founded the „Working Group Digitisation“
  • 4. museum-digital is an initiative that started February 2009 in Sachsen-Anhalt (one of the federal states in Germany) 6 member-museums of the regional (Federal State) museum association founded the „Working Group Digitisation“ Defined aim of the working group: „ To find out how it is possible that – in accordance with the actual conditions and limitations of the museums – information about museum-objects could be made visible in the internet collectively. And: How can this be done in a way that each (!) museum of the federal state can take part and in a way that – if a museum likes it – the object-information can be integrated into national and international portals (europeana)“
  • 5. „ To find out how it is possible that – in accordance with the actual conditions and limitations of the museums – information about museum-objects could be made visible in the internet collectively. And: How can this be done in a way that each (!) museum of the federal state can take part and in a way that – if a museum likes it – the object-information can be integrated into national and international portals (europeana)“ Step 1: we analysed conditions and limitations
  • 6. „ To find out how it is possible that – in accordance with the actual conditions and limitations of the museums – information about museum-objects could be made visible in the internet collectively. And: How can this be done in a way that each (!) museum of the federal state can take part and in a way that – if a museum likes it – the object-information can be integrated into national and international portals (europeana)“ Step 1: we analysed conditions and limitations Step 2: we analysed who is presenting which information in which way
  • 7. „ To find out how it is possible that – in accordance with the actual conditions and limitations of the museums – information about museum-objects could be made visible in the internet collectively . And: How can this be done in a way that each (!) museum of the federal state can take part and in a way that – if a museum likes it – the object-information can be integrated into national and international portals (europeana)“ Step 1: we analysed conditions and limitations Step 2: we analysed who is presenting which information in which way Step 3: we analysed data formats that are able to bring very different objects together
  • 8. „ To find out how it is possible that – in accordance with the actual conditions and limitations of the museums – information about museum-objects could be made visible in the internet collectively. And: How can this be done in a way that each (!) museum of the federal state can take part and in a way that – if a museum likes it – the object-information can be integrated into national and international portals (europeana)“ Step 1: we analysed conditions and limitations Step 2: we analysed who is presenting which information in which way Step 3: we analysed data formats that are able to bring very different objects together Step 4: we analysed necessities for data-integration into europeana
  • 9. conditions and limitations conditions in the six museums that started museum-digital ? how to find answers ?
    • museums brought their database along
    • museums described their data creation situation
    • museums described their overall situation
  • 10. conditions and limitations
    • Databases: Paradox, dBase2, Access, No database
    • No time to do extra work
    • No money to employ someone for inventarisation
    • No objects available in the internet
    • No experience in web – technology
    • No one had object data for all of his objects
    • Very few had images of their objects connected to database
    conditions in the six museums that started museum-digital
  • 11. who presents which information (online databases analysed)
  • 12. who presents which information („minimum“ found – with the help of interpol and others)
  • 13. who presents which information result of investigation – only 8 fields (name of object, ….) are used by everyone can we put all information we like to present into these 8 fields ? can we present the needed information … and …
  • 14. can we put all information we like to present into these 8 fields ? Each museum should send all information about at least 5 of it‘s objects including at (least) one photograph. The museum should record how much time it took to collect these data/image(s). The objects should be of a great variety. We invited other museums to take part in this exercise. can we present the needed information … and … how to find answers ? result: It took between 3 minutes and 3 hours to gather the information / take a photograph for a single object ! We needed a few more fields (like: links, literature, …) to tell what we wanted to tell The original data (from database or card or from a list) is often not directly usable. It is written either for specialists or there is no text at all. It is full of abbreviations, typing errors … All texts have to be checked.
  • 15. looking for a data format We compared available data-formats. Decision was for museumdat.xml Reasoning: We are no library. We have absolutely disperse information. We want to be able to export not only to europeana. Museumdat is more and more widely used in Germany. Europeana accepted already museumdat.xml – data (from Germany and Sweden)
  • 16. looking for a data format
    • specifics of museumdat.xml
    • It differentiates between display and index fields. Example:
    • “ late bronce age”  Display
    • -1300 to -700  Index
    • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing  Display
    • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim  Index
    • It is event-oriented. Example:
    • A trap was “produced”
    • A book was “published”
    • A biological type was “first described”
    • An archaelogical artefact was “found”
    •  at a certain time
    •  at a certain place
    •  by a certain actor
    • good for all kinds of objects
    • good for all kinds of museums
  • 17. necessities for integration into europeana Consequence: We „misused“ museumdat (which was made for data harvesting) and used it as foundation for structuring our database. So it is quite easy to export data in museumdat.xml We send these data to Athena and Athena transforms them into ESE for europeana (Good that we don‘t have to do that).
  • 18. how to get data into the system
    • Because those without database should also be able to take part we decided to construct a „single object“ solution first:
    • A museum fills out a form (in Word) or
    • A museum gets a password and fills out a web-form
    • A third person corrects the information and puts it into the database
    • Because those with database (whatever kind of database) should be able to take part we decided then to construct a “mass import” solution:
    • museums send a CSV-File in a predefined structure
    • This makes it easy for the museums to participate
    Because we realised that museums often have either pictures that are directly made for inventarisation purposes (with numbers … on it) or pictures that are made for publication purposes (print quality – museums not always have secured the right to publish such pictures in the internet) we conducted a workshop on object-photography. Image-Quality improved very much
  • 19. much more important we realised that europeana only collects metadata, links and thumbnails europeana needs a place to link to we created that place
  • 20. www.museum-digital.de/san our website for presentation, motivation, inspiration Previous way to put the question: how can we take part in europeana New way to put the question: how can we let europeana work for us europeana and more !
  • 21. Thank you … Dr. Stefan Rohde-Enslin Working Group Digitisation of the museum-association of Sachsen-Anhalt (Germany) and Institute for Museum Research (SMB-PK) [email_address]