digitisation in Europe
Progress report of the
National Representative Group: coordination mechanisms for digitisation
policies and programmes 2002
National Report: Germany
Policy scenario for digitisation
Germany is a Federal State composed of 16 “Bundesländer”
and one central government (Federal Government) for the country
as a whole. According to the German constitution, for certain
areas, prominently among them cultural affairs, primary responsibility
lies with the 16 Bundesländer. For certain tasks, some of
them related to the field of supporting science and research,
there is some competence by the Federal government or the possibility
of joint action by the Federal Government and the governments
of the 16 Bundesländer (which may be fixed in specific agreements).
The 16 Bundesländer have instruments like the regular “Conferences”
of a certain type each of their ministers (e.g., those of Culture).
Some of them have at their disposal a standing administrative
apparatus. The “Conferences” may agree on joint recommendations,
quality requirements, planning frameworks etc. but these usually
require unanimity and formally remain non-binding recommendations.
Not all of the activities of the Bundesländer are subject
to such discussions; usually, only matters are concerned which
have an effect on the “equality of the living conditions”
throughout the entire country (in the cultural field e.g., mutual
acceptance of school diploma, matters of access to university
Since four years now, there is also a “Minister of State
for Culture and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and
Media” who is the addressee for cultural policy in the Federal
government and who has to represent German culture in the European
and international context.
The matters discussed further in this report do concern both the
fields of “culture/schooling” and of “science,
research, development”, and sometimes matters within the
competence of the Ministers of the Interior (e.g., archives in
Terms of reference and National policy profile
There is no one single national policy on digitisation of cultural heritage
in Germany and, consequently, neither formal terms of reference
nor a policy profile referring to a such.
There is also not known to exist an overall strategy/policy plan
yet for such matters at the level of one or more of the Bundesländer.
There are, however, a number of individual plans, support frameworks,
and funding schemes, usually under project frameworks, both at
the level of the Federal government and at that of one or more
of the 16 Bundesländer, which do support activities such
as digitisation. Some of these schemes do correspond to, or have
even been caused by, EU initiatives like “eEurope”,
In September 2002, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research
(Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) published a
strategic paper on Link information - activate knowledge (= Informationen
vernetzen - Wissen aktivieren).
Within the publishing industry, there are initiatives for electronic
books/journals/publication, and relevant co-operation with university
libraries, and with the German National Library on legal deposit
questions. Many newspapers, agencies, and picture archives use
the digital data elements and exchange formats established by
IPTC International Press Technical Council (http://www.iptc.org).
There is also a project for the joint offering of a newspaper
archive system: http://www.archivderpresse.com
is a commercial platform run by a public broadcasting station
(BR), a publishing house (SZ), a database provider (GENIOS) and
an Austrian News Agency, offering against payment some 30 mio.
press articles of the last 10 years. No other overall plans, frameworks,
or projects in the private sector (other than company-internal,
sometimes multi-national information systems) are presently known
as relating to the matters of this report (notwithstanding this,
such building of sophisticated information systems in the private
sector is a clear indicator that considerable knowledge, experience,
and resources are available and are being invested in that area,
too, i.a. for digitisation matters). There is, however, the possibility
of nation-wide support/project schemes implemented by semi-government
authorities like the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG”
(National Research Council), especially in the sector of supporting
universities and scientific research agencies/projects. There
are also funding opportunities, case by case, from such sources
as regional “Lotto” funds, endowments like the “VW-Stiftung”
For example, a principal scheme does exist for the retrospective
digitisation of library holdings, under the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
- German Research Council). (see below, No.1).
A formal WG, chaired by Prof. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, the President
of the Foundation Prussian Heritage, has been established in Germany
in September 2001, named “EUBAM” (“European
matters concerning libraries, archives, museums”), as a
single contact point for all questions:
- relating to EU (funding) programmes on digitisation,
as they are relevant for libraries, archives, museums in Germany,
and to spread information about these widely in Germany;
- concerning applications to/participation in EU-funded
programmes by German libraries, archives, museums, to encourage
and support applications from Germany;
- concerning information sought by EU bodies on digitisation
programmes, achievements, and contents available in German libraries,
archives and museums;
- concerning representation in relevant EU Working Groups
by German libraries, archives, museums.
This co-ordination body will concentrate all administrative procedures
for German participation in EU Working Bodies on cultural digitisation
at one point and thus relieve all concerned from the difficulties
arising from the complicated, scattered, multi-layered structure
of the German political administration system as sketched above
under (1). It will also aim at collecting at the national level,
all information required in the context of digitisation strategies
which presently is not available at any central point in Germany.
At present, an initiative is underway to develop a co-operation
platform on long-term availability of digital documents (“Forum
Langzeitverfügbarkeit” ; contact: Ute Schwens, email@example.com),
at the moment largely driven from the library sector, but with
museums and archives involved.
Co-ordination of national networks
There are not too many networks or projects of nation-wide range in place
presently which relate to digitisation.
- Most activities, and a scheme to co-ordinate them, for digitisation
do refer to library holdings,
for which a funding mechanism is in place
with the DFG.
- A network was formed as early as 1977 for a nation-wide documentation
of images of works of art (movable and immovable). This network
is called the “DISKUS-Verbund” (“Digitales Informationssystem
für Kunst- und Sozialgeschichte” - Digital Information
system for art history and social history) with its co-ordinating
agency, “Foto Marburg” at Marburg University. From
the beginning, the network has collected microfiche images of
the works of art in 122 German institutions (also serving for
security microfilming purposes), now amounting up to 1.6 mio.
Of these, 400.000 are by now digitized and 200.000 can presently
be accessed through the Internet database. The description of
the works of art does follow a rule book (MIDAS Handbuch; now
4th ed. 2002). http://www.fotomr.uni-marburg.de
- From the early 1970s, a computerised serials union database
(Zeitschriftendatenbank - ZDB), hosted and run by the Staatsbibliothek
zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) was built to serve the entire
German library community. This central database today comprises
some 1 mio. title records of serials, with some 7.5 mio. holding
records showing the availability of a relevant serial in German
- There are 6 regional library networks (of university, research
and some special libraries), roughly corresponding to the geographic
regions in Germany (Southwest, Bavaria, Northrhine-Westphalia,
Hessen, Northern Germany, and Berlin-Brandenburg). Each runs a
digital online catalogue of the holdings of the participating
A nation-wide digital library catalogue (actually a search engine)
overarching these regional ones is the “Karlsruher Virtueller
Katalog KVK” which brings together the regional ones plus
the German libraries’ serials catalogue (ZDB), the catalogue
of books in print (VLB) and the German catalogue of antiquarian/second-hand
books (ZVAB) as well as a number of digital library catalogues
from other countries (Austria, Switzerland, France, UK, LoC, Italy,
The total sum of records in the KVK is estimated
- At the same URL host, in addition, the catalogue of a 7th
library network recently formed can be consulted, the so called
“Virtueller Katalog Kunstgeschichte (VKK) Virtual Catalogue
Art History” of 8 major German art libraries (München
- Firenze - Roma - Heidelberg - Bonn - Köln - Berlin - Nürnberg)
plus Kunsthaus Zürich. It has a user interface in 4 languages
(de - it - fr - en).
Part of this network is the Kunst-”Fachverbundkatalog”
(Union catalogue / Art libraries) München - Firenze - Roma
(since 1996, 445.000 references of which 190.000 are for journal
- The project, network and software “Kalliope”, already
operational, are intended for the digitisation of the 1.6 mio
references to autographs, held in the central catalogue in the
State Library Berlin, and for the further enlargement of this
reference source by the co-operation of many individual libraries,
archives, museums throughout the country, each supplying the references
to their holdings. “Kalliope” is one of the follow-ups
to the EU-sponsored project “Malvine”. http://kalliope.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/
- “Prometheus” is a project of presently 6 German
universities with another 9 ready to join, aiming at a nation-wide
distributed digital image data base for the purposes of teaching
and study, composed mainly of the slide libraries of the art history
institutes of the universities. It is the idea that these slide
images should be ready for consultation and for use in teaching
at any time and anywhere in school and academia, access being
eased by the possibility of keyword search relating to style,
motif, artist, theme etc. of the images.
- To mention a project directly out of the area of scientific
research, the Max-Planck-Institut for the History of Science,
Berlin is realising a “digital research library in the history
of mechanics” which is to combine, in one digital access
presentation, historical manuscripts (such as of, e.g., Leonardo
da Vinci), the related construction drawings, technical calculations
by the scientist, and 3-D-models of the actual object constructed
which can be fully manipulated by the online viewer to study them
from all perspectives and to many scales.
This institute also runs an e-doc-server of projects.
In co-operation with the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the
Max-Planck-Institut has realised an Internet presentation of cuneiform
script tables, both from this museum and those scattered over
other places in the world. http://cdli.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/DL/VAM/VORMUSEUM.HTM
- From the 1970s on, a system of centralised documentation centres/networks
(FIZ/FIS) has been put in place in Germany, each responsible for
a certain subject field. Out of the 20 planned originally, 17
have materialized so far: medicine, chemistry, economics, math/phys/energy,
technology/engineering, technical rules/standards/norms, nutrition/agriculture,
social sciences, psychology, education, geosciences, patents,
electronics/electrotechnology, building technology/ development
planning, law, labour market, environment. Some of these are structured
around a designated central library of the subject field. They
offer a range of (also digital) services incl. full-text documentation,
the foremost service still being the provision of large digital
reference databases to books, articles, research reports, etc.
is the address of the project leader (Botanischer Garten und Botanisches
Museum, Berlin) of an EU-funded project on digital biodiversity
information. Its aims are: to identify and publish on the Web
a catalogue of European collections and collection information
systems; to use the Web to make European expertise in biodiversity
informatics accessible (companies, people, institutes with experience
in implementing biological collection information systems); to
foment the forming of consortia for funding proposals with the
aim of implementing the framework for a Biological Collection
Information Service in Europe.
- The “IuK Initiative” is an organisation comprising
9 German associations of science professionals (Mathematics, Physics,
Education, Psychology, Applied Economics, Biology, Chemistry,
Sociology, Informatics). It aims at supporting the building of
digital networks for science information, the creation and use
of electronic journals, and at studying all questions (e.g., of
scientific publishing) which are related to such digitized information
networks. The strategic importance of digitised information for
the sciences, the digital library, the role of the individual
scientist as the supplier of information, the decentralised keeping
of information, multi-media teaching, metadata, and easy and non-costly
access to information are clou issues.
Under “Safety and quality of electronic expertises, dissertations,
and other scientific works”, recommendations and models
on fully digital handling are being given. The building of Internet
subject portals (i.a. in connection with the EU sponsored project
CARMEN), corresponding to the scope of each member society, is
supported, as well as networking within and among special science
branches. Under “Long-term archiving of distributed documents”,
the relative recommendation of the “European Physical Society”
is being promoted.
- An initiative has been established to create a common regional
Internet portal for archives, libraries, museums (BAM-Portal),
starting at the regional level of one German Bundesland (Baden-Württemberg).
The aim of this portal is to allow the general public to find,
with just one search run, all the material on a given question
or topic held in any of the participating institutions from the
3 branches. The constituents of the project are the central service
bureaux for libraries (BSE) and for archives (LAD) in this Bundesland
and one representative museum.
- The “Institute for German Language IDS” in Mannheim
(member of some of the funding and research networks in German
science organization) is the leading German research institute
for word and text linguistics, funded by public bodies. It does,
i.a., hold a large corpus data base COSMAS II (1.864 mio. words
of German), developed i.a. within the EU project MECOLB. Some
projects are undertaken in co-operation with leading private sector
dictionary publishers like the “Duden Verlag” (also
in Mannheim). http://www.ids-mannheim.de/kt/corpora.shtml
- Also in the field of terminology and terminological data,
the Fachhochschule Köln has participated in 3 projects, funded
with the assistance of the EU:
- SALT (Standards-based access to multilingual lexicons
and terminologies, 2001/01-2001/12) aimed at providing formalisms,
tools, and conversion programmes which enable conversion from
diferently structured terminologies, dictionaries, and terminological
exchange formats into a common data format, i.a. to assist machine
translation. The data format XLT, XML-based, is a product of this
- TDC-net (European Terminology Information and Documentation
Network) (funded within the MLIS programme 1998-2000) was to establish
exchange specifications, service specifications, and holdings
specifications for a network of (presently 10) European terminology
centres both as a directory and as points for direct online access
to terminologies (terms and definitions). Building up ETIS (European
Terminology Information Server) is also part of the project.
- DINT/Leather-InfoCode (Developing Innovative Network
for Terminology, 1999/01-2000/07) is to provide, in the context
of 7 European Standards Bodies, tools that allow to efficiently
teach terminology principles and methods over the Internet, considering
the quality standards series ISO 9000. The project is funded under
- The German Research Council DFG is running a programme to support
the creation of a “Virtual specialized library” (Virtuelle
Fachbibliothek), to be composed of many individual digital libraries
built along the already existing decentralised system of some
120 specialized libraries which each aim at the utmost completeness
in books and document holdings on a given special field of academic
knowledge. The specialized libraries are now to collect additionally
all digital material in their fields. Interconnected within a
distributed system, together they are to form “the virtual
specialized library”. http://www.dfg.de/forschungsfoerderung/
- The “Projektträger Neue Medien in der Bildung + Fachinformation
(PT-NMB+F)” is part of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (http://www.fraunhofer.de/english/
company/index.html). It supports the Federal Ministry for
Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economics
and Work (BMWA).
PT-NMB+F is taking care of the “digital library forum”
is an Internet platform, providing information on projects and
programmes related to digitisation and run by the Federal Ministry
of Education and Research, by the Bundesländer, by the German
Research Council (DFG), by the DFN (Deutsches Forschungsnetz -
German Research Network) which is the computer-based communication
infrastructure for science, research and education in Germany
(http://www.dfn.de), and by European
programmes (such as FP 5 / FP 6).
Relationships and co-ordination with other national initiatives in connection with eEurope, e-government, e-learning
“Schulen ans Netz” [Bring schools to Internet] is
an initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Education and
Research and the German Telekom. In the sense of “e-learning”,
it aims at bringing computers to all schools and at making “computer
literacy” part of the general education.
see also: http://www.schulweb.de
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is presently
running a 430.000 Euro funding scheme Aktionsprogramm “Innovation
und Arbeitsplätze in der Informationsgesellschaft des 21.
“Schule des Sehens” [The art of viewing] is a set
of Internet study courses introductory to art history. These are
prepared by the Art History Institutes of 6 German and 1 Swiss
universities and are designed for the Internet as the exclusive
medium of study, both for university use and for self-study of
Under “Bund online2005”, search engines presently
do direct users to the e-government Internet pages being built
by the Federal Government of Germany. www.kommforum.de is the
URL for the respective site, under construction, of the German
local authorities (communities).
There is not yet an explicit formal co-ordination between these
initiatives and those mentioned under the following paragraph.
European and international co-operation
A number of German libraries, museums, and archives have taken part, and still
do so, in projects with European partners, funded by the EU in
the programmes “Culture 2000”, IST, and others. To
identify the exact projects, extensive research is needed in a
number of different databases.
The Federal Archives of Germany (Bundesarchiv) are, i.a., involved
in a project together with the Russian State Archives for the
digitisation of the records of the former KOMINTERN (Communist
International) in Moscow.
It is also involved, together with the Archivschule Marburg, in
a project for the application of EAD Encoded Archival Description
to finding aids, with partners and funding contribution from CLIR
(Council for Library and Information Resources), USA, and the
Public Records Office PRO in the UK.
“euromuse” is a project of the State Museums Prussian
Heritage Berlin together with 6 partners (Louvre, FR; RMN Réunion
des musées nationaux, FR; Statens Museum for Kunst, DK;
Kunsthistorisches Museum, AT; National Gallery London, UK; Rijksmuseum
It is an Internet portal offering information on exhibitions of
supranational importance in arts and cultural history in Europe,
together with electronic image resources, descriptions of the
museums, news, electronic shops etc. It has presently ca. 100
participating museums all over Europe (http://www.euromuse.net).
DDB, the German National Library, is involved in a number of
European projects, some of them EU-funded, i.a.:
- + CARMEN (Content Analysis, Retrieval and MetaData: Effective
- + EPICUR (Enhancement of Persistent Identifier Services
- Comprehensive Method for unequivocal Resource Identification)
- + MACS (Multilingual Access by Subjects)
- + NEDLIB (Networked European Deposit Library)
- + RENARDUS (Academic Subject Gateway Service Europe)
- + TEL (The European Library)
The DDB is also a partner in the network GABRIEL (http://portico.bl.uk/gabriel/)
, comprising all European National Libraries and providing online
access to catalogues, online exhibitions, etc.
is an Internet portal for the historical sciences, under construction.
SUB Göttingen (State and University Library Göttingen),
with one of the German libraries’ competence centres for
digitisation, is involved in a number of European digital projects,
- EULER-TAKE-UP European Libraries and Electronic Resources
in Mathematical Sciences - Take-Up Action (2001/2002): Workflow
and other measures to establish, from the existing prototype,
a high-class European virtual library of pure mathematics. www.sub.uni-goettingen.de/projekte/euler.html
as well as in German-American co-operation:
- NSF/DFG Cornell-Michigan: A project (2001-2003) to establish
distributed data bases of important historical mathematical
monographs, funded by the National Science foundation (USA)
and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). http://www.sub.uni-goettingen.de/
- Open Archives: Distributed Services for Physicists
and Graduate Students (OAD): sponsored by the NSF and the DFG
(Universität Oldenburg and Computer Centre Humboldt Universität
zu Berlin being among the partners), this project aims at digital
of materials to graduate students and to physicists.
Within the “Alps network” consisting of the Italian,
Austrian, Swiss, and German regions in the Alps area, a subnetwork
“Archives in the arge alp” is a directory of the 36
archives in this region and of their holdings.
Under the EUBAM Working Group (see above), a database is envisaged to contain
information on individual projects, which would enable for benchmarking
to be done in the future.
Dr. Roswitha Poll, Director, University Library Münster,
is a leading specialist in Germany on matters of performance indicators,
performance standards, benchmarking etc., taking part in several
German and international (ISO) groups involved in this subject.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (see above) will install
a Working Group on benchmarking and best practices for a future
evaluation of the numerous past and present projects it has funded
in the area of digitisation.
Inventories and resource discovery
For information items in reference databases, of course the
German National Bibliography (DNB) is one of the largest inventories
in Germany (http://www.ddb.de/produkte.dnb.htm
A number of projects listed above under Co-operation activities
also are actually inventories.
An overall inventory of the state archives (state archives, not
archives of local communities, nor private archives) in Germany,
through their top organizations in each Bundesland, is to be found
A few museums in Germany already have reference databases to their
objects online (some are full object databases, e.g. incl. images
of the objects). Examples:
is an Internet portal and resource list for Germany, by a private
provider, aiming to be comprehensive in listing as many as possible
current exhibitions and museums in Germany.
Another service is intended by the “Virtual Library Museen”
It does provide museum related information in Germany and German-language
countries - including online resources.
A portal for culture in general in Germany is presently under
construction, namely “Kulturportal Deutschland”: http://www.kulturportal.de.
For all of the 16 German Bundesländer, there is an Internet
portal to the archives of the region:
Several archives and regional archival bodies do have an online
offer of collection guides or finding aids (http://www.midosa.de).
As far as it comes to inventories of projects of digitisation
of full texts or images, no comprehensive such inventory seems
to be available for Germany. Checking the lists of the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (see 1b above) and the Digitisation Centres
(Bavarian State Library München BSB and State and University
Library SUB Göttingen) will yield a first rough overview,
Metadata and interoperability
for resource inventories
German libraries have a common exchange format (differing from
the MARC format for bibliographic use) in use since some 20 years:
Maschinelles Austauschformat für Bibliotheken MAB: http://www.ddb.de/professionell/mab.htm.
Presently, a project is ventilated to develop a new platform,
Central electronic authority files for cataloguing use by German
libraries are in existence, namely:
- Gemeinsame Körperschaftsdatei GKD (Union file of
- Personennamendatei PND (Union file of persons’ names)
- Schlagwortnormdatei SWD (Union file of subject headings)
which are administered by the National Library DDB and the Prussian
State Library SBB, respectively.
For German archives, there is the offer of the free software MIDOSA
for the production of online archival finding aids and collection
prepared i.a. by the Archivschule Marburg and the Bundesarchiv.
A German-American Working Group in 2000/2001 has studied the possibilities
of online access to finding aids, sponsored by the DFG and CLIR
(Council on Library and Information Resources, USA), the German
partner being the Archivschule Marburg.
The use (and possible expansion) of the Dublin Core Metadata
is intensively being studied and promoted in the library world.
(Contact: Die Deutsche Bibliothek.) A metadata format, “Digital
library meta”, based on Dublin Core and the use of XML,
has also emerged (http://www.dlmeta.de).
DLmeta is also partially used in the archive world, as is the
Encoded Archival Description EAD (http://www.loc.gov/ead/-4k).
No generally used archival, or archival exchange, format exists
in Germany. This is also true for museums, where no applications
of EAD or DLmeta are known but a few uses of DC, and a certain
move towards XML can be witnessed. In the museum world in general,
the CIMI (Computer interchange of museum information) formats
and data structures do play a role (http://www.cimi.org).
The “Wissenschaftsrat” [Council of the Sciences] in
Germany has passed, on 13 July 2001, a Recommendation on Metadata
and the OAI, stating i.a.: “There is a need to further develop
international standards for metadata readable by search engines.
They should either be supplied already by the document providers
as integrated in the documents, or be additionally delivered (images,
audio, video) and be openly accessible via the Metadata Harvesting
Protocol of the OAI, in order to enable retrieval and processing
of scientifically relevant digital information. Dublin Core, already
wide-spread, should be considered as a minimum standard for accessing
digital objects and should be generally adopted by authors and
publishers.” (Original text in German)
Good practice and skills
Good practice exemplars and guidelines
Under this address are to be found the report and the technical
recommendations of the study group in 1996 in preparation of the
DFG funding scheme for “Retrodigitisation of library holdings”.
formulare/programme/Bibliotheksfoerderung.html This is the Web
address for the formal fact sheets/instructions no. 1.51 - 1.55
(including recommendations on international co-operation) given
by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG/German Research
Council” for the (retrospective) digitisation of library
A Study Group on behalf of the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
DFG” has prepared a principal report in 1996 on the question
of “Digitisation or microfilming?” It was also to
give recommendations on the digitisation of film, to comment on
the compatibility of film with digital media, and on the direct
digitisation from the original object.
Under the same direction, a conception for a research project
under DFG has subsequently been prepared – and the project
been carried out in 1998/1999 –, which was to study the
question whether digitisation is a safe long-term preservation
means, or rather an attractive means for presentation and use
? Different types of traditional (paper) objects were chosen and
- directly digitised,
- digitised from microfilm,
to compare the results and the usability of the output products.
Also as on offspring of the above project, a detailed workflow
has been prepared for the archival field - with a potential of
broader application or adaptation.
Two German digitization centres in the library field have been explicitly
designated as “Competence Centres”:
The “Archivschule Marburg” is a contact point for
digitisation matters for archives, as well as the regional archival
bodies LAD Stuttgart, Generaldirektion der Bayer. Staatlichen
Archive München, and Nordrhein-Westfälisches Hauptstaatsarchiv
Münster. The “Institut für Museumskunde”
(Berlin) and the regional Museum Counseling Institutes München,
Brauweiler (near Köln) , Stuttgart are offering advice to
museums on digitisation questions.
A few large museums have own specialised staff for this matter.
A recent publication by the professional association “Rundbrief
Pfenninger, Kathryn, Bildarchiv digital [Digital image archive],
Stuttgart: Rundbrief Fotographie, 2001, 81 p. (http://www.foto.unibas.ch/~rundbrief).
Main digitisation training initiatives for cultural heritage institutions
Such training initiatives mainly originate from the same bodies as mentioned
In particular, the German Archival School (Archivschule Marburg)
is offering courses, at regular intervals, on digitisation for
Training is also offered in the library sector, and by the Institute
for Museum Studies for museum staff. In addition, training courses
(both crash courses and longer-term regular education) are offered
by various Universities and Universities of Applied sciences (FHs)
in the respective departments of IT, media design, art history,
European added value and content framework
Quality and accessibility for Web sites
European added value from the projects, groups, and documents in Germany concerning
digitisation is foremost to be expected from the exchange of experience/roundtables
with experts from other countries which would enhance the understanding,
potential problems, and strategies regarding digitisation. In
terms of mere facts, a recent statistical inquiry in Germany shows
that out of ca. 6.200 museums (incl. their branch locations),
1.537 have an own Website (with 379 in more languages than German
For archives, the exact figure is not known.
In addition to this statistical figure, a research project realised
by the Free University Berlin and the Institut für Museumskunde
1998-2000, on “Virtual visitors - Technological outreach
of museums” has undertaken a comparative study on CDROM
and Internet as media for museums to present themselves to a general
public. A number of small Working Groups, in different institutions
and professional associations, is studying the quality (criteria)
for Websites. One of the groups is a WG of the Documentation Committee
of the German Museum Association (http://www.museumsbund.de/fachgruppen).
Same comment as under previous paragraph.
At present, an initiative is underway to create a German forum
for the cultural sector on these questions: “Forum Langzeitverfügbarkeit”
(contact: Ute Schwens, firstname.lastname@example.org),
at the moment largely driven from the library sector, but with
museums and archives involved.
Research activities on digitisation
Research activities on digitisation are going on with,
or are funded by, the institutions mentioned
in the other parts of this status report:
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG - German Research
- Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung - German
Ministry for Education and Science
- In the framework of the designated competence centres
for digitisation, such as those in München
and Göttingen for libraries, and the “Landesarchivdirektion
Baden-Württemberg” in the field of archives
- At Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences
- At the German Science and Research Institution “Fraunhofer
Several research projects are concerned with digitisation of
cultural material in the first place.
Main research topics are/should be to:
- raise context awareness for the presentation
of archival material and museum objects
- develop tools for indexing and searching
- provide more evaluation what the different target groups
- develop distributed search engines and interoperability,
with an emphasis on digital collections
- foster and support long-term preservation in any way possible.