Many thanks: 2022

Danke für 2022!

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear partners, friends and supporters of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library),
dear colleagues,

Our review a year ago was very special: neither did anyone know yet how the global pandemic situation would develop, nor did anyone know when normal everyday work, office and public life would be possible again. The caesura that the corona pandemic represented has not yet been completely overcome with its consequences and now, in the winter of 2022, we are facing a new, but again complex and highly problematic world situation that is shaking the foundations of our beliefs. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely for this reason, we dare to take a look back at the past year and our work.

Our new format #DDBwerkbank (DDBworkbench), with which we test the potential of digital cultural data for frankly quite crazy actions, has continued to bear fruit: in 2022, when a violinist Willi from Hamburg watches a silent film from 1906 with violinist Willi Neubronner on his smartphone, he gets an idea. But look and hear for yourself. Only so much: the piece is revived! If you are not capable of playing a musical instrument and therefore our proposal is not for you, how about you create computer fonts with templates from the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek and surprise your loved ones with a completely new, old font? Our Werkbank accompanies you step by step and shows that you do not have to be a computer expert.

The congress life of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek rediscovered its analogue everyday life this year. Almost, because the Leipzig Book Fair, with regularly over a quarter of a million visitors, the largest German public fair, at which we present ourselves and meet our users, was cancelled for the third time in a row in 2022. However, the Bibliothekskongress (Library Congress) in Leipzig was not cancelled. We were there with our booth, talked about our Deutsches Zeitungsportal (German Newspaper Portal)  launched in 2021 and new approaches to mediation for digitised cultural assets and were pleased to be back at this branch meeting. New for us was, however, our participation in the nationwide Digital Day, where we presented our subportals and online offers in live presentations. Since 2011, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek has supported the international conference series “Shaping Access!”. Under this year's event motto "Digital availability and global reception", we participated in the panel "More than the sum of the parts" and presented the work on our subportal "Collectibles from colonial contexts", which was launched in 2021.

There are news from Archivportal-D. (archive portal D.) It was fundamentally redesigned, the development of the  theme portal "Weimar Republic" was completed and a new one was created immediately: The theme portal "reparation of Nazi injustice" initiated and financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Finance went online. It is being developed in close cooperation with the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (National Archive of Baden-Württemberg) and the archive administrations of the federal states, the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archive), the FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur (Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure), and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. In a first stage, collections from state archives can be researched under one roof for the first time.

Every farewell can be a new beginning: This year, the cultural hackathon Coding da Vinci ended, which was launched by the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek together with Wikimedia Deutschland e. V., the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and digiS in 2014. For eight years, cultural institutions and creatives have found each other across Germany and national borders to publicise the value of digital, open cultural data and to develop numerous applications for digital cultural assets. The closing event at the end of the funding period was an impressive example of this – and who knows what it was a start for?

Thanks to funding from the NEUSTART KULTUR programme of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, we were able to completely revamp our DDBpro portal for data partners. It had to meet the increasing demands of the steady growth of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, of new possibilities for making the holdings of our data partners visible and more and more complex questions about copyright and licenses. Now, we provide cultural and knowledge institutions that are interested in participating in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek DDBpro, with a new design and user-oriented information.

Finally, ten years ago, on 28 November 2012, the first beta version of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek was presented. Since then, a lot has happened and we have taken this anniversary as an opportunity to review the most important stages of our development.

And - if you are still able to, after all this information - do visit one or two virtual exhibitions and discover Kokoschka, Jazz or the European Capitals of Culture Novi Sad, Timișoara and Veszprém. No matter what you choose, it is worth taking time for one or the other of the more than 150 virtual exhibitions of our data partners!

However, most important: We would like to thank you all for your support and your efforts. Without our friends and supporters, your commitment and your perseverance, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek would not be what it has developed into in recent years.

Special thanks to our more than 700 partners of all cultural sections, whose data and information provide the basis for the richness and diversity of the cultural heritage to be discovered in the portal Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek.

We would also like to thank all partners, friends and supporters of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, who have accompanied us this year with appreciation, praise and criticism.

As always, a special thank you goes to the employees of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, because our committed and trusting cooperation has also carried us through this year – thank you to all of us!

We wish you, your teams and your families all the best – health, energy and a good dose of hope for 2023. We look forward to next year with you – stay with us!

Yours, Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek