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Europeana Fashion Edit-a-thon handbook for GLAMs

Gregory Markus - April 22, 2014 in Featured, Guest Blog Post

This is a guest blog post written by Gregory Markus from the Europeana Fashion project, which works on providing digital objects related to the history of European fashion (ranging from historical dresses to accessories, photographs, posters, drawings, sketches, videos and fashion catalogues) to Europeana.

In an effort to improve fashion knowledge online, Europeana Fashion is eur_fashion_slideweborganising a series of “edit-a-thons” with Wikimedia, during which fashion enthusiasts and professionals get together to improve fashion knowledge on Wikipedia. In order to help other GLAM organisations also set up an edit-a-thon, we have created the Europeana Fashion Edit-a-thon Handbook.

Fashion is undoubtedly a significant cultural medium. Whether we realise it or not, the clothes we choose to wear every day have historical roots and contemporary meaning. The blue jeans, the T-shirt, the sneaker or a shirt with a button down collar all have an interesting history, which most of us seldom consider. If someone did want to learn about fashion history, their first stop would most likely be Wikipedia. As fashion is underrepresented on the online encyclopedia, however, they might be let down.

Europeana Fashion brings together 22 institutions from 12 European countries, which open up their collections and make their content available online; some for the first time ever. Coordinating between GLAMs and Wikimedia is an important aspect of Europeana Fashion’s work. Wikipedia Edit-a-thons are a perfect entry point for GLAMs who have never before worked with the online encyclopedia, because they

  1. Connect different communities and bring them together around a shared passion;
  2. Stimulate participating partners to reflect on the ways they make their collections available.

EuropeanaFashion

The Europeana Fashion Edit-a-thon Handbook is the perfect companion for any GLAM looking to organise an Edit-a-thon (not just fashion institutions). The handbook gives an overview of Wikimedia, Wikipedia, ways to ensure a successful Edit-a-thon, how to measure success, tips for getting content on Wikimedia, event promotion, as well as a suggested day programme, a three month preparation agenda, and an abundance of relevant links.

It is also becoming more common for prestigious schools and institutions to hire a Wikipedian Residence. As this trend continues we will hopefully see more Edit-a-thons occur. Opening up and sharing knowledge is essential for societal progression, which is why at the end of the handbook we ask users to contribute their experiences. In this way others can see who is using the Handbook, what they learned and how they benefited from an Edit-a-thon.

One year of DPLA

Lieke Ploeger - April 18, 2014 in Featured, News

DPLA_birthday_revised_small-e1397497153433

Since its launch last year, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has been working hard on bringing together digitized cultural heritage materials from American libraries, archives, and museums, and making these available as freely and openly as possible.

Impressive progress has been made: today, at the celebration of its first birthday, the amount of content that is available through the DPLA portal has tripled in size to nearly 7 million items from over 1300 organisations. DPLA also announced that 6 major new partners have been added as content hubs (bringing the total amount to 15). These hubs are large content holders committed to providing, maintaining and editing over 200.000 unique metadata records to the DPLA portal.

Next to continually increasing the size of its collections, DPLA also recently partnered up with Europeana and Kennisland to work on creating and standardizing clear statements on the exact rights of digital objects. The working group responsible for this process aims to release its findings in the fall of 2014.

The full press release on DPLA’s first birthday is available from this page. Congratulations to DPLA on this great achievement, and on to a successful second year!

 

 

 

RLUK Hack Day – 14 May 2014

Mike Mertens - April 16, 2014 in Featured, Hack days

RLUK_logoResearch Libraries UK (RLUK) represents 34 of the leading and most significant research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Working with The European Library, RLUK will soon be releasing over 17 million bibliographic records as Linked Open Data. We want to invite developers from the library, academic and general coding community to realise the full impact of this very large open dataset. We want to encourage people to engage with the data, reuse it and make it usable for others in the pursuit of research and learning that will benefit all.

As such following on from the launch of the dataset, RLUK is running an initial Hack Day at Senate House Library, London. A one-day event, the day is aimed at encouraging direct development of the dataset, and will be a hands-on bring your own device set of sessions for those with a practical interest in or experience of developing services and prototypes using Linked Open Data.

Competition Themes

There will be several themes (and associated prize categories, to be announced) for the day:

  • Linking Up datasets – a prize for work that combines data from multiple data sets
  • WWI
  • Eastern Europe
  • Delivering a valuable hack for RLUK members

Further details, as well as the option to register for this event, are available through this Eventbrite page.

Promoting Linked Open Data innovation in libraries

In addition, as part of this cooperation between The European Library and RLUK, The European Library is running an awareness tel_logodownloadcampaign to promote Linked Open Data (LOD) innovations in libraries across Europe. The European Library has designed a set editorials that will highlight 6 LOD use cases across Europe:

  • The British Library
  • Cambridge University Library
  • The French National Library
  • The Spanish National Library
  • The National Library of The Netherlands (KB)
  • The German National Library

The first use case features the British Library; the editorial is now available here: http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/tel4/newsitem/5200

 

 

US National Gallery of Art releases 35k public domain images

Lieke Ploeger - April 15, 2014 in Featured, News, Public Domain

This week the US National Gallery of Art announced that over 35.000 images are currently available as public domain through their website, NGA images. Following the start of their Open Access policy in March 2012 (which you can read more about in this blog), the NGA has been adding more and more digital images of artworks in their collections, free for everyone to search, browse, share, and download and reuse to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.

As a natural extension of their mission, the NGA believes that “increased access to high quality images of its works of art fuels knowledge, scholarship, and innovation, inspiring uses that continually transform the way we see and understand the world of art” – a statement OpenGLAM definitely supports. This resource has now also been added to our overview of Open Collections.

John Constable (British, 1776 - 1837 ), Wivenhoe Park, Essex, 1816, oil on canvas, Widener Collection

John Constable (British, 1776 – 1837 ), Wivenhoe Park, Essex, 1816, oil on canvas, Widener Collection

Finnish Museum of Photography joins Flickr Commons

Lieke Ploeger - April 10, 2014 in Featured, News

Today the  Finnish Museum of Photography joined Flickr: The Commons, an online repository for openly licensed images, as a participating institution. The Finnish Museum of Photography is the national special museum for photography and houses diverse collections on photographic art, photographic culture, photojournalism, fashion shots, press photos and portraits, by both professionals and amateurs. The sets that have now been made available through Flickr Commons (under “no known copyright restrictions”) contain some of the oldest colour photographs called autochromes, historical photos of Finnish agriculture and more.

This release through Flickr Commons now also enables users to contribute their knowledge through comments and tags, making it accessible to millions of people around the world. The full press release is available here - more information on Flickr Commons and a list of all participating institutions can be found on this page.

flickrcommons

 

Coding da Vinci – the first 10 week challenge on open cultural data in Germany

Helene Hahn - April 3, 2014 in Events/Workshops, Featured

More and more galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are digitizing their collections to make them accessible online and to preserve our heritage for future generations. By January 2014, over 30 million objects have been made available via Europeana – among which over 4.5 million records were contributed from German institutions.

Through the contribution of open data and content, cultural institutions provide tools for the thinkers and doers of today, no matter what sector they’re working in; in this way, cultural heritage brings not just aesthetic beauty, but also brings wider cultural and economic value beyond initial estimations.

Coding da Vinci, the first German open cultural data hackathon will take place in Berlin to bring together both cultural heritage institutions and the hacker & designer community to develop ideas and prototypes for the cultural sector and the public. It will be structured as a 10-week-challenge running from April 26th until July 6th under the motto “Let them play with your toys!”, coined by Jo Pugh of the UK National Archives. All projects will be presented online for everyone to benefit from, and prizes will be awarded to the best projects at the end of the hackathon.

codingdavinci

The participating GLAMs have contributed a huge range of data for use in the hackathon, including highlights such as urban images (including metadata) of Berlin in the 18th and 19th centuries, scans of shadow boxes containing insects and Jewish address-books from the 1930s in Germany, and much more! In addition, the German Digital Library will provide their API to hackathon participants. We’re also very happy to say that for a limited number of participants, we’ll can offer to cover travel and accommodation expenses – all you have to do is apply now!

All prices, challenges and datasets will soon be presented online.

This hackathon is organized by: German Digital LibraryService Centre Digitization BerlinOpen Knowledge Foundation GermanyWikimedia Germany.

Europeana Labs Beta Site launched

Lieke Ploeger - April 2, 2014 in Featured, News

Europeana, the online portal to Europe’s digital cultural heritage, has just launched the Europeana Labs Beta Site, labs.europeana.eu. europeana_labsThrough this site, Europeana provides access to their data (over 30 million metadata records linking to millions of openly licensed media objects) and all the information you need to get started with the Europeana APIs, which allow you to search and retrieve this data for use in your own applications. The site also gives inspiring examples of applications that have been created by using these resources, as well as news on future events and hackathons around this dataset.

This beta version of the site was created based on the feedback that was received during consultation with the developer community – the full version of Europeana Labs is planned for late June.

europeanalabs2

German Digital Library launches full version

Lieke Ploeger - April 1, 2014 in Events/Workshops, Featured, News

On 31 March 2014 the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek – DDB) launched its first full version at the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. The DDB portal gives free access to German cultural and scientific heritage: around 8 million digital objects, including books, images, sculptures, archived items, pieces of music and other audio documents, films and scores. The DDB also takes care of delivering this data to Europeana as the national aggregator for Germany. Over 2000 German institutions are now registered with the DDB network.

From left to right: Brunhild Kurth, Vice-President of the Kultusministerkonferenz and the Saxon State Minister for Culture, Frank Frischmuth, Managing Director of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Monika Grütters, State Minister for Culture and the Media, Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Executive Board Spokesman of Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Jill Cousins, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation (© Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek,( Foto: Reynaldo Paganelli)

From left to right: Brunhild Kurth, Vice-President of the Kultusministerkonferenz and the Saxon State Minister for Culture, Frank Frischmuth, Managing Director of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Monika Grütters, State Minister for Culture and the Media, Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Executive Board Spokesman of Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Jill Cousins, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation (Photo: Reynaldo Paganelli)

Following the launch of the beta version of the DDB portal in 2012, this full version has been extended with enhanced user functionalities, such as improved search and navigation, the ability to create personalised lists of search results (Meine DDB) and increased semantic connections and cross-references between items, making it a valuable source of information.

DDB launch event, 31 March (Photo by: Rainaldo Paganelli)

DDB launch event, 31 March (Photo by: Rainaldo Paganelli)

The DDB portal does not have any access restrictions: however, since the objects are not located in the DDB itself, but in the respective institutions, these remain responsible for any copyright restrictions. The DDB is working on introducing a licensing model that allows participating institutions to select a specific license, so that in the future all material will have a clear notice stating the conditions of use or will be tagged with a Creative Commons license.

Last November, the DDB released their API to the public, making it possible for users to reuse content (licensed with CC0 metadata) on other platforms, create combinations with other data or build applications on top of it. Later this month, the DDB API will be used in the Coding Da Vinci hackathon for open cultural data (organised in cooperation with Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, Wikimedia Deutschland and digiS – Service Center Digitization Berlin).

codingdavinciThe complete press release is available on this page: you can also watch the video footage and see pictures of the launch event here.

NYPL releases 20.000 historical maps as public domain

Lieke Ploeger - March 31, 2014 in Featured, News, Public Domain

The New York Public Library has just released a great set of over 20.000 historical maps, in high-resolution, under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license. This means that anyone can download them for free and reuse them in any way they want. The collection contains maps from the 16th to 19th century, mainly from the United States and New York of course, but also from other countries.

Map of Coney Island, New York, from Atlas of the entire city of Brooklyn, complete in one volume. From actual surveys and official records by G. W. Bromley & Co. 1880

Map of Coney Island, New York, from Atlas of the entire city of Brooklyn, complete in one volume. From actual surveys and official records by G. W. Bromley & Co. 1880

The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page. Through this website, NYPL also offers the Map Warper, an open source tool which digitally aligns historical maps with current maps (see their tutorial video below).

You can find more information about the maps in this press release: the collection has also been added to our overview of Open Collections. NYPL looks forward to seeing these maps in works of art, historical publications, movies, archaeological reports, novels, environmental remediation efforts, urban planning studies and more – all of which is now greatly facilitated by choosing this type of open licensing.

UPDATE: Also, check out The Public Domain Review‘s highlights from the collection, focusing on images of New York City. They’ve also turned one of them into a giant poster!

 

Valuable manuscripts of Frankfurt University Library online

Marko Knepper - March 27, 2014 in Featured, News, Public Domain

Illuminated page from the Paris Bible. At the beginning of the book of Genesis seven separate scenes sre presented, the seven days of creation.

Illuminated page from the Paris Bible. At the beginning of the book of Genesis seven separate scenes are presented, the seven days of creation.

The University Library in Frankfurt am Main holds an important manuscript collection, containing specimens that are unique in the world. Up until now, scientists had to take long journeys across continents to be able to see the unique items. In February 2011 the University Library started a project to digitise their collection of over 2.800 manuscripts, making it possible for anyone to scroll through these manuscripts online from anywhere in the world – without touching the fragile originals.

For the volumes, which can be up to 1200 years old, gentle handling is necessary during the scanning process. That is why a special scanner was purchased, in which the books are opened only up to an angle of 110°, and both sides are scanned simultaneously in a high resolution and true color with gentle light. The special difficulty of the project lies in the fact that on the one hand the careful handling has priority, but on the other hand we want to make the collection available online within a few years. At the moment, 350.000 pages have been scanned, with amounts to a total of 17 terabytes that will be permanently archived.

The origins of the Frankfurt manuscript collection date back to 1484, when the library was founded. In time, valuable additions were made through donations, bequests and purchases. The largest increase, however, took place at the beginning of the 19th Century, when the Frankfurt monastic libraries released their books to the University Library in a period of growing secularization.

Page from the Divine Comedy. In the initial and on the lower border Dante is depicted. Below he looks at his early love Beatrice.

Page from the Divine Comedy. In the initial and on the lower border Dante is depicted. Below he looks at his early love Beatrice.

The 1000th manuscript that was scanned is “The Divine Comedy”, by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, written in Northern Italy in the 14th century. It is one of about 600 manuscripts that deliver this famous work to posterity. “The Frankfurt manuscript was donated in 1834 by Milan-based trading merchant Heinrich Mylius, a native of Frankfurt, to the public library of his home town,” explains Dr. Bernhard Tönnies, head of the manuscript collection. Now it can be admired online as well as used scientifically.

Production of nitric, representation from the book of weapons and fireworks of the city of Frankfurt.

Production of nitric, representation from the book of weapons and fireworks of the city of Frankfurt.

Other pieces that have already been scanned include a 13th century Parisian Bible from the Cistercian Abbey of Eberbach and the “Rüst- und Feuerwerksbuch” (“Book of weapons and fireworks”) of the city of Frankfurt, which was purchased in 1500 for the library.

The detailed descriptions of the manuscripts (previously only available in the printed catalogues) have also been scanned and linked with the objects. I am happy to remark that the manuscripts and their metadata are all presented as public domain. The complete digital collection is accessible at the URL: http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/msinc

The University Library of Frankfurt am Main is one of the Associated Partners in the DM2E project consortium.