“We are delighted to announce the launch of our call for proposals for Europeana 2021! Like last year, 70% of the conference programme will be open to professionals working in and around the cultural heritage sector to share expertise, knowledge and experience in varied sessions. Read on to find out about our call and how you can take part in one of the leading events of the year for those who work in, with and around digital cultural heritage in Europe….”
“The Hesburgh Libraries and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame have launched Marble (Museum, Archives, Rare Books and Libraries Exploration) — an online teaching and research platform designed to make distinctive cultural heritage collections from across the University accessible through a single portal.
The development of Marble was made possible, in part, by a three-and-one-half-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an open-access, unified software solution that would enable universities to access museum and library holdings through a single online platform….
The code for the Marble project was developed and will be maintained by the Hesburgh Libraries development team. The platform code is openly licensed under an Apache 2.0 license and available on GitHub. Project documentation, technical diagrams, collaborative processes and best practices are published on the Open Science Framework….”
“In October 2020 we released 17,000 images of maps and views from George III’s Topographical Collection on the images-sharing site Flickr Commons, which seems to have kept you busy.
Well, from today, you can find an additional 32,000 images, comprising George III’s collection of atlases and albums of views, plans, diagrams, reports and surveys, produced between 1550 and 1820. These have been uploaded to Flickr with a Public Domain attribution for you to search, browse, download, reuse, study and enjoy….”
“The event is an opportunity for GLAM professionals, community archivists, creators, developers, platforms, tool creators and content communities with any level of experience to learn, work, and create with one another for the benefit of Open Access to cultural heritage….”
From Google’s English: “In addition to a printed version, The Rijksmuseum Bulletin now also appears as a free digital magazine in Open Access. The peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Rijksmuseum, in which historical and art-historical research about the collection is presented, will thus be freely available online to everyone. All editions of the magazine from 2012 are currently online. Later this year, the archive will be expanded to include the first issue in 1953….”
Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the reciprocal relationship between VIAF® and Wikidata and their possible roles in the semantic web environment. It deals with their data, their approach, their domain, and their stakeholders, with particular attention to identification as a fundamental goal of Universal Bibliographic Control. After examining interrelationships among VIAF, Wikidata, libraries and other GLAM institutions, a double approach is used to compare VIAF and Wikidata: first, a quantitative analysis of VIAF and Wikidata data on personal entities, presented in eight tables; and second, a qualitative comparison of several general characteristics, such as purpose, scope, organizational and theoretical approach, data harvesting and management (shown in table 9). Quantitative data and qualitative comparison show that VIAF and Wikidata are quite different in their purpose, scope, organizational and theoretical approach, data harvesting, and management. The study highlights the reciprocal role of VIAF and Wikidata and its helpfulness in the worldwide bibliographical context and in the semantic web environment and outlines new perspectives for research and cooperation.
“The National Science Foundation has awarded iDigBio nearly $20 million to continue its mission of digitizing natural history collections nationwide, making them available online to researchers, educators and community scientists around the world.
For the past decade, iDigBio, a collaborative program based at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, has led the push to digitize the estimated 1 billion biological specimens held in U.S. museums. These online records of animals, plants and other organisms serve as a searchable archive of life and help researchers identify species in danger of extinction, track the spread of invaders, study how climate change is reshaping ecosystems and possibly predict the next pandemic.
Thanks to iDigBio’s coordination, training and community-building efforts, about 40% of specimens in U.S. collections are now represented in the program’s portal, comprising one of the largest virtual collections of Earth’s biodiversity and contributing to more than 2,000 studies so far….”
“The Fine Arts Library holds the noted curator’s research slides, documenting four decades of unparalleled access to public and private art collections from around the world….
The Fine Arts Library is currently in the process of digitizing, color-correcting, and cataloging this important collection, which is made available open access as it is completed. View the images currently cataloged. …”
“In this session, Bernadine Brocker Wieder holds a roundtable discussion on how to keep digital public access to works removed from museum collections. Bernadine proposes two methods for discussion on how digital technology can ensure that works are publicly available even after the gavel comes down at an auction. …”
“Ten years ago the British Library and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development started exploring possible areas of collaboration. For some time the British Library had been working on an international engagement strategy to make our collections more accessible in partnership with other organisations.
Fast forward to 2021, and our partnership with the Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Library has gone from strength to strength, this week hitting the major milestone of making our two millionth image freely available online via the Qatar Digital Library.
Under the British Library’s Living Knowledge strategy we have sought new partnerships and collaborations, particularly when it comes to digitisation and digital scholarship. Our aim is to open up the collections to a global audience and the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership is a prime example of this endeavour….”
“But now the survival of archives as we know them is uncertain. Whether we know it or not, we all rely on a patchwork of chronically underfunded public and private institutions that hold the world’s histories and cultural heritages in trust for all of us and make them accessible….
It was only a matter of time before the market figured out a way to manufacture and sell digital scarcity, and the marketplace for cultural objects has moved well past the archival ecosystem. Artists, gamers, entertainers, athletes, and executives now sell NFTs, tokenized digital objects whose authenticity is said to be assured by the reverse traceability of blockchain transactions. The combination of Covid-19 isolation and cryptocurrency profits created a powerful incentive for digital-positive collectors to compete for these NFTs, and some creators are raking in Ethereum….
Nothing could be a greater cultural and ethical shock to archives than NFTs. Prevailing archival ethics generally dictate that all users are treated equally, and that archival materials aren’t exposed or sold only to high bidders. And once archives select materials for retention, they consider themselves in most cases ethically bound to do so permanently….
As poor a fit with archival DNA as tokenizing archive collections as NFTs may be, the possibility of leveraging digital scarcity by selling NFTs while retaining physical materials is a hefty temptation. The archival world is a world of inadequate budgets and financial constraint, filled with underpaid workers and massive, poorly resourced projects like digital preservation, and the challenging task of digitizing analog materials. Will archives be tempted by the potential upside of NFTs and tokenize digital representations of their crown jewels (or the rights to these assets)? This would worsen an already bad situation…
One working solution is for cultural and historical institutions like archives to run their own trusted registries of digital objects. But this is expensive, and it creates further incentives for archives to monetize their holdings and become less accessible to noncommercial users, like genealogists, the group that uses archives more than anyone else. …”
““Fragmentology” is a new approach to the visual gathering of such dispersed fragments in order to re-assemble the pieces of a codex. A digital platform is now available to apply collective energy into fitting the pieces of the puzzle back together again, which has an enormous potential for research. Fragmentarium is the name of a partnership of institutions gathered to develop the technologies needed to build “a common laboratory for fragments” and conduct research. It promises to yield digital versions from the original fragments, constituted from various holdings. This process will enable provenance research, the study of the circulation of manuscripts, and generate connections among researchers and curators. Thus a leaf holding comparable visual cues may be further investigated as a originating from the same or similar source. …”
“The yearly Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon is a fun, collaborative and innovative event dedicated to our digital heritage. This year, we are being hosted by the ETH Library in Zurich and will meet online on April 16 & 17. New data sets are being made available as is custom for this event, such as an exciting new compilation of historical photographs of Zürich by the photographer Friedrich Ruef-Hirt (via @OpenDataZurich)….”
“One of the world’s most massive museums has announced an encompassing digitization of its vast collection.
“The Louvre is dusting off its treasures, even the least-known,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, President-Director of the Musée du Louvre, in a statement on Friday. “For the first time, anyone can access the entire collection of works from a computer or smartphone for free, whether they are on display in the museum, on loan, even long-term, or in storage.”
Some of this is hyperbole. The entire collection is so huge, no one even knows how big it is. The Louvre’s official release estimates about 482,000 works have been digitized in its collections database, representing about three quarters of the entire archive. (The museum’s recently revamped homepage is designed for more casual visitors, especially those on cellphones, with translations in Spanish, English and Chinese.) …”
“The database for the Louvre’s collections consists of entries for more than 480,000 works of art that are part of the national collections and registered in the inventories of the museum’s eight curatorial departments (Near Eastern Antiquities; Egyptian Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Paintings; Medieval, Renaissance and Modern Sculpture; Prints and Drawings; Medieval, Renaissance and Modern Decorative Arts), those of the History of the Louvre department, or the inventories of the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, administratively attached to the Louvre since 2004.
The Collections database also includes so-called ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupération, or National Museums Recovery), recovered after WWII, retrieved by the Office des Biens et Intérêts Privés and pending return to the legitimate owners. A list of all MNR works conserved at the Musée du Louvre is available in a dedicated album and may also be consulted in the French Ministry of Culture’s Rose Valland database.
Lastly, the Louvre Collections database includes information on works on long-term loan from other French or foreign institutions such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Petit Palais, the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, the British Museum and the archaeological museum of Heraklion. …”