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DigiCULT
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Info
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Memory of The Netherlands. New to the
Koninklijke Bibliotheek was the choice for a
general, rather than an academic, audience.
A
lthough the proposal benefited from
the experience that was gained in pre-
vious digitisation pilots undertaken by the
Koninklijke Bibliotheek, a considerable
scaling-up was required as regards content
and organisation. What makes the Memory
special is its programmatic approach, which
is large-scale, comprehensive, and has a pro-
fessional set-up. The Memory covers art,
culture and history in the broadest sense.
The main focus is on digital content.
T
he project proposal also addressed
the problem of how to develop a sta-
ble and scalable technical infrastructure.
An additional focal point of the project
concerns the acquisition and dissemina-
tion of knowledge about digitisation and
project management. After reviewing the
project proposal, the Dutch Ministry of
Education, Culture and Science granted
the Koninklijke Bibliotheek a substantial
subsidy, with the advice to devote particu-
lar attention to the educational component,
and to reinforce the digital learning envi-
ronment in secondary education.
A PROGRAMMATIC APPROACH
M
emory of The Netherlands intro-
duces a programmatic approach to
the digitisation of cultural-historical mate-
rials in The Netherlands. The unifying ele-
ments in the programme's content are
history, art and culture in the broadest sense.
On the organisational level, the programme
is characterised by co-operation, profes-
sionalism, and large-scale digitisation. The
advantage of this programmatic approach
is that the processes can be managed in a
professional way. Previously, this approach
proved effective in Metamorfoze (http://
www.metamorfoze.nl), a large-scale nation
-
al preservation programme run by the
Koninklijke Bibliotheek. The Memory uses
a large amount of material and occupies a
strategic position. As such, it can negotiate
favourable prices with scanning companies
without compromising the quality of the
material. The approach of the various sub-
projects is highly uniform. More and more
materials are becoming available for com-
parison. This allows a better insight into
both processes and costs. As a result, more
effort can be put into the development of
the technical and organisational infrastruc-
ture. Knowledge is better preserved and dis-
seminated. A durable, stable form of access
can be guaranteed. Ultimately, all this con-
tributes to providing the public with bet-
ter services.
EDUCATION
F
rom the start, Memory has worked on
examples of re-use in educational appli-
cations of heritage materials. Initially the idea
was to create a separate educational interface
on the entire Memory collection, but based
on experiences from school practice this was
abandoned in favour of the development of
a number of varied applications.
A
s their actual usage would be the best
indicator of success, the following
starting points were drawn up for the appli-
cations:
Compliant with the school curriculum
and examination requirements.
Attuned to existing teaching methods.
Educationally sound.
Developed jointly with people working
in education and tested in the school
environment.
Attractive to both teachers and pupils.
Discrete entities.
Complete with a `reward' or check
system.
Demanding few technical skills in
preparation, use and maintenance.
Compliant with existing, widely available
software and databases.
Kettingbotsing op het Damrak / Accident on the Damrak (Amsterdam)
Missionaris op Irian Jaya / Missionary on Irian Jaya (former Dutch New
Guinea)
Used with permission of Katholiek Documentatie Centrum.