Aggregation of Cultural Heritage Collections through the Web of Data

Research & Innovation

The existence of many digital libraries, maintained by different organizations, brings challenges to the discoverability of cultural heritage (CH) resources. Metadata aggregation is an approach where centralized efforts like Europeana facilitate their discoverability by collecting the resource’s metadata. Nowadays, CH institutions are increasingly applying technologies designed for the wider interoperability on the Web. In this context, we have identified the vocabulary and linked data (LD) as potential technologies for innovating CH metadata aggregation. We present the results of an analysis using the case of the Europeana network of aggregators and data providers as basis. We have conducted a survey of the available linked data technology, and we defined a solution, which we have put into practice in a pilot implementation within the Europeana network. In this pilot, the National Library of The Netherlands fulfils the role of data provider, with the Dutch Digital Heritage Network, as national aggregator, supporting the provision of several datasets from the national library to Europeana. The metadata is published using LD practices, having as the main vocabulary. The national library also implements all the necessary semantic web mechanisms, defined in our solution, for making the datasets discoverable and harvestable by Europeana. Our proposal involves the use of vocabularies for description of datasets, and their distributions, namely DCAT, VoID and Europeana implements the LD harvester side of the solution and applies it to harvest the data from the national library.


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