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Path: Home | Structure | Working Groups | WP3


Inventories, discovery of digitised content, multilingualism issues
Working group

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Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (FR)


The objectives of this working group (corresponding to WP 3) is to identify and share experiences, discuss issues and facilitate implementation of common actions concerning:

  • visibility and accessibility of European cultural and scientific content by setting up inventories of past, on-going and planned digitisation projects based on national observatories;
  • definition of a sustainable technical infrastructure for coordinated discovery of European digitised cultural and scientific content, including a common set of metadata for description;
  • analysis of possible solutions to the technical and cultural constraints deriving from multilingual problems;
  • proposal of a common platform (XML and open source) for accessing distributed information in Europe, to be proposed for application at European level.

Analysis of the current situation:

  • National observatories of digitisation projects
  • Relevant indicators of digitisation projects
  • Descriptive vocabularies for digitisation projects

A common framework:

  • As a decision-making tool: European scoreboard
  • As an orientation means for scientists
  • As a means for disseminating good practices
  • As a means for valorising collections

Description of work

The activities of this workpackage will consist of the analysis of existing activities in Member States, to identify national inventories of projects or selected content. These inventories will be selected according to quality standards, with the aim to organise test-beds in partner countries, following a common methodology.
In fact, to make the digitised resources accessible, it is necessary to define the technical components and standards for identifying and harvesting eligible digitised content. This includes agreements on metadata, on harvesting tools, and on aggregation and retrieval services, with emphasis on public domain tools and on support for multilingualism. The working group will analyse the state-of-the-art of existing practices and studies on this aspect, combining European experiences with similar activities carried out by UNESCO and other international organisations. A prototype of a multilingual platform for accessing catalogues of digital resources of involved countries will be developed, adopting shareware and freeware software and XML standard.
The final aims of the work package are the definition of a common set of metadata for description and the adoption of a common multilingual platform.


  • National observatories identification
  • Analysis of inventories
  • Analysis of experts work: existing networks
  • Exchange of experience and organisational issues
  • Test-beds
  • National observatories
  • Legitimacy
  • Access to information
  • Acting capacity
  • Disseminating capacity
  • Cross-domain scope of action

Common objectives, common understanding

  • To share experiences
  • To ensure cultural heritage interoperability
  • To build tools together (preservation, standards...)

6 months workplan

  • Identification of existing inventories:
    • At national level: relying on national observatories / partners
    • At international level (Unesco, Eblida...)
  • Analysis of existing inventories:
    • Access mode
    • Metadata and vocabularies in use
    • Technical parameters
  • Multilingualism issues:
    • Theoretical analysis

The French experience

  • By the Department of Research and Technology of the French ministry of culture and communication
  • Project started in 2001, based on existing initiatives
  • Currently the catalogue contains:
    • 250 files on organisations
    • 500 files on collections
  • Scope of collection files:
    • libraries, archives, museums, public department on cultural heritage: archeology, monuments...

Organisational principles

  • Distributed data provision among institutions
  • Distributed responsabilities of data control
  • One repository, one web interface
  • Cross-domain catalogue (Libraries, museums, archives, monuments)
  • Cross-institution catalogue
  • Collection at national level of regional initiatives



Copyright Minerva Project 2003-04, last revision 2005-08-03, edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
URL: www.minervaeurope.org/structure/workinggroups/inventor.htm
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