Digitalization of Cultural Heritage and Databases for Historical Sciences – Together or Separately?
Adam Żurek, Wrocław University Library - Department for Scientific Documentation of Cultural Heritage, Poland
Joanna Pawliniak, Wrocław University Library - Department for Scientific Documentation of Cultural Heritage, Poland
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In Poland research databases and digitalization of cultural heritage are separated issues (due to formal and organizational causes). Research databases are financed by Ministry of Science and Higher Education (from 2011 through two agencies – the National Center for Science (NCN) and the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR)), whereas digitalization of cultural heritage is financed from the fund of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage). Because of structure of projects evaluation committees (for research databases composed almost exlusively of IT professionals) and different criteria for evaluating (for research databases – data aggregation mechanisms and number of employed IT professionals, not database’s content; for digitalization projects – number of files) currently there is no chance to create integrated database system for historical sciences, which will connect structured content with digitized objects. Moreover, despite the fact that units subordinate to Ministry of Science and Higher Education possesses many precious cultural heritage items (e.g. 40% of all known medieval manuscripts in Poland is stored in university libraries in Wrocław and Kraków), they are excluded from the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for digitalization projects. Also Ministry of Science and Higher Education do not provide funds for that activity. How university library can acquire additional financing from public sources? The only way is to combine several small projects (mainly co-founded by European Union from European Regional Development Fund and research-development projects founded by Ministry of Science and Higher Education). In recent years, in Wrocław University Library, we realized four projects. Currently we are working on integration digital sources generated during our last projects (creating common authority files, federated search etc.). Our fifth project will be completed this year. For classification of cultural heritage items we use Marburg Information, Documentation and Administration System (MIDAS). This paper focuses on data aggregation and integration issues.
Author's professional CV
Adam Żurek – Historian-archivist (also studied archeology and elements of art history). Co-editor of series Poland. The history of civilization and the nation., co-author of the Historical Atlas of Polish Cities and Towns, Atlas of Wrocław’s Architecture and other collective publications. His research interests focus on the the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, particularly: history of architecture and fortifications, historical iconography, heraldry, church history. Since 2007 employed in Wrocław University Library (Poland), where he estabilished Department for Scientific Documentation of Cultural Heritage. He managed three projects (in this two projects co-founded by European Union).