BAM: A German Portal to Libraries, Archives, Museums

BAM: A German Portal to Libraries, Archives, Museums

Werner Schweibenz (University of Konstanz, Germany) and Jörn Sieglerschmidt (University of Konstanz, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-044-0.ch004
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Starting from cultural heritage initiatives of the European Union and cultural portals such as the European Digital Library Europeana and the future German Digital Library, the paper presents BAM, the joint portal for libraries, archives, museums in Germany which is currently the only portal for cultural content. since the German Digital Library is not yet online. The goal of BAM is to provide access to and increase the visibility of German cultural content on the Web. To do so the portal directs users from the list of results on the BAM website to the digital object on the participating institution’s website. In addition, an alliance was formed with Wikipedia Germany to offer the possibility to link directly from an article’s web link section to the results of a corresponding BAM search. Moreover, organizational, technical and content related issues of BAM are described. Finally, future research directions for cultural portals are indicated.
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Cultural Heritage Initiatives In The European Union – An Overview

During recent years, the European Union (EU) has been sponsoring several programs to promote the online accessibility of cultural content as “culture is a key dimension of the Information Society. The exchange of information on the world’s cultural heritage will help people from different cultures around the world to understand each other better” (quote from Pascon, 1997, p. 57). In addition to the cultural aspect, the EU also considers digital cultural content to be an important contribution to the development of a multimedia industry (cf. the so called Bangemann Report, 1994). Therefore the EU has initiated a number of projects, for example ECHO1, MICHAEL-Culture2, MINERVA eC3 and i2010 Digital Libraries4 to name just a few. In addition to the EU initiatives there are also many national projects by the EU member states where national libraries, archives and museums organize projects to create and collect cultural content, for example the British Library5, the National Archive of Germany6, the portals Gallica of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France7 and Joconde of the Ministère de la culture de France8, the Italian portal cultura italia – un patrimonio da esplorare9 of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali to mention but a few examples. All these distributed databases will be integrated into a European portal presenting the diversity and the common traditions of European cultural heritage in all branches of knowledge.

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