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DigiCULT
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Info
36
tions proved time consuming, but is
worthwhile doing;
2. Visitors are enthusiastic about the
enriched information and how it is
presented. Also, the number of questions
received is considerable.
Rijksmuseum Web site relaunched
T
he most renowned Dutch museum,
the Rijksmuseum (http://www.rijks-
museum.nl/), has launched its complete-
ly revamped Web site. Visitors are able to
access the vast databases of the museum,
together with the more general information
that was already available. The online data-
bases include the Adlib collection manage-
ment system (http://www.adlibsoft.com/),
the Aria database with educational informa-
tion and the library catalogue.
A
n XML layer links all these vari-
ous resources. The user-friendly
WYSIWYG XML-editor Xopus from Q42
(http://xopus.com/) is used to manage this
process. A flexible and layered information
architecture has been designed, enabling
the easy rendering of dynamic presenta-
tions in pre-defined formats. The architec-
ture consists of several layers: the objects,
the selection of objects, formats structuring
the selections and presentations. Types of
presentations that can be rendered include
printed leaflets and also formats for mobile
devices such as PDAs.
T
he information architecture complies
with open standards such as Dublin
Core, OAI and XML, enabling future col-
laboration with other organisations. Open
Source software was used in developing
the system wherever possible. The aim of
the Rijksmuseum is to distribute the sys-
tem to other cultural heritage institutions
in an Open Source scenario. An advisory
board will be set up in collaboration with
the DEN organisation and the Mondriaan
Foundation (http://www.mondriaanfoun-
dation.nl) to define which scenario is most
applicable. The Web site and Web infra-
structure were developed by designers from
Fabrique (http://www.fabrique.nl) and
application developers from Q42 (http://
q42.nl/).
POLAND
In Search of Polish Cultural Web site
Quality
W
ITOSLAW
P
IOTR
R
YSZEWSKI
&
M
ARIA
S
LIWINSKA
A
growing number of cultural heritage
institutions are presenting their activi-
ties on the Internet and among these are
Polish cultural institutions. According to
recent available statistics
38
institutions cur-
rently registered in Poland include:
33,632 libraries (1,180 research, 8,700
public, 20,879 schools,
39
350 pedagogical,
and 2,523 special)
196 archives (28 state, 18 of central
institutions, 150 other)
665 museums
281 galleries.
A
survey was conducted, based on a
couple of printed guides and an
Internet survey by the Google and Onet.pl
browsers due to the large numbers of insti-
tutions. This survey can be treated as a first
attempt at evaluating Polish cultural herit-
age institutions' Web sites.
I
n general, libraries were the first cul-
tural institutions to build their own
Web sites. Our search identified 50 scien-
tific and about 800 public library Web sites.
All libraries present broadly similar infor-
mation: current events, addresses, resources,
structure, and library policy. Larger libraries
also provide information about their history,
publications, exhibitions and other events,
and what is of the utmost importance for
their users they offer online catalogues.
Three of them also allow users to order
books using these facilities. The information
layout is usually coherent and fairly easy to
use. Only 28 multilingual Web sites were
identified (18 run by scientific and 10 by
public libraries). Twenty-four of them are
in English, two in French, one in German,
and one in Russian. Approximately 70 per
cent of information is translated into a for-
eign language. Graphic design is gener-
ally not imaginative; most of the libraries
present only pictures of their buildings, and
only a few current pictures of recently pur-
chased books. Fifteen libraries have already
started with digitisation of their most inter-
esting collections.
S
ixty-six galleries had created their own
Web sites and this was a group of
sites with very diverse content. All of them
publish the address and general character-
istic of the gallery: for example, its histo-
ry, activities and resources. Some provide
information about the artists whose work
they exhibit, their policy regarding pic-
ture sales, and current images of artworks.
Seventeen galleries have multilingual Web
sites, most of them in English (16), but also
four in German, one in Czech, and one in
Spanish. Four galleries have more than one
foreign language version, with around 60
per cent of information being translated.
T
here are 20 state archive Web sites
available, but only ten of them have
foreign versions seven in English, two
in German, and one each in Russian and
Ukrainian. Like library Web sites, the for-

38 Electronic Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2004, www.stat.gov.pl/ser-
wis/polska/2004/, units: Education and Upbringing; Science and
Technology; Culture, Tourism and Sport.

39 See Rocznik Statystyczny 1991 (Warszawa 1992).