Diversity of collections, participatory cultural education, promotion of digitisation: The German Digital Library will receive funds from „Neustart Kultur“

Press Information of the German Digital Library

Berlin, September 14, 2020

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library) will receive funds from the Federal Government’s funding programme NEUSTART KULTUR for its project “Nutzerorientierte Neustrukturierung der Deutschen Digitalen Bibliothek” (“User-oriented restructuring of the German Digital Library”). The user experience shall be structured intuitively for all users with this and tailored to their different requirements. Priority will be given to new formats and media for interactive participation and participatory cultural education. At the same time, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s partner institutions will be supported with funding in the digitisation of their holdings.

Neustart Kultur für die DDB

Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, declares: "We want to strengthen the DDB as the central digital platform which makes the holdings of many cultural and knowledge institutions from all over Germany accessible online, free from any economic interests. Ease of handling, an attractive design, participative elements – these are the key factors so that as many people as possible will also regularly use this information. The new programme should help the DDB to make an even more attractive offer to important target groups, such as young persons or teaching staff, for example."

"The German Digital Library’s top priority is to make the cultural heritage of Germany accessible online, so that it can be experienced in a low-threshold manner. The funds from NEUSTART KULTUR will significantly contribute to designing our portal in an attractive way for all users. We are very pleased to be able to make cultural participation thereby possible in an even better way in the digital space." Dr. Julia Spohr, Manager of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s Central Office

Interactive participation and orientation in the diversity of collections
In order to make objects and collections and their diverse content more comprehensible to users, cultural educational offerings are being developed which are easily usable and adoptable and which make interactive participation and orientation possible in the diversity of cultural assets. In this way, the existing information shall be enriched with diverse editorial and participatory elements and different media formats developed. Connections between objects and collections will make it possible to have new entry points into the portal in future. Restructuring will take place and offer navigating access to geographical origin, period of emergence and object genres and materials, for example. The project ‘Virtuelle Ausstellungen’ (‘Virtual Exhibitions’), with which the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s partners curate their holdings independently, was started successfully in the autumn of 2019 and will be developed further. 

Networking projects – participatory cultural education
Schools, universities, people interested in culture as well as small and diverse institutions will be invited to cooperation projects. In this way, a participatory curating tool shall be developed for teaching and youth work, with which young persons can design digital collections on their own initiative. Together with teaching staff at universities and higher education institutions, applications with digital cultural assets for the preparation of lectures and seminars should emerge. But projects for the widespread use of cultural digital heritage will also be carried out for smaller cultural institutions, which are often run by volunteers. 

Digitisation – financial support for the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s partner institutions
An essential part of the project is to support the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s cooperation partners in making their holdings and collections visible to a greater degree than before. A funding procedure will be set up for the digitisation of cultural assets so that partner institutions can show the rich panorama of the cultural heritage available in the Deutsche Digitale Bildung (German Digital Education) more attractively in future with their content: priority will be given to high-resolution objects and those in the public domain, which make it possible to experience the highlights of collections or institutions in an interactive way. This part of the project may be of particular interest to the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s registered institutions since, apart from digitisation, the enrichment of metadata is offered as well as support for project management, in quality control and the hosting of digital representations. 

Project: Nutzerorientierte Neustrukturierung der Deutschen Digitalen Bibliothek (User-oriented restructuring of the German Digital Library)
Financed by funds from the Federal Government’s funding programme NEUSTART KULTUR 
Amount of funding: 5.5 million euros
Project duration: September 2020 to December 2021

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Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek links the digital holdings of cultural and knowledge institutions in Germany and makes them centrally accessible. It offers everyone free access to digitised museum objects, books, musical works, monuments, films, documents and many other cultural treasures via the internet. The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek functions as a network; it links and presents the digital offerings of its partners and makes a contribution to the democratisation of knowledge and resources. 

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