Day 1 – Monday 7 December Track 1: Lose your modesty!
The Archive: from Memories of the Past to Predictions of the Future
Annet Dekker is an independent researcher and curator. She is currently Researcher Digital Preservation at TATE, London, Post-doc Research Fellow at London South Bank University / The Photographers Gallery, and core tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (Master Media Design and Communication, Networked Media and Lens-Based Media). Previously she worked as Web curator for SKOR (Foundation for Art and Public Domain,2010–12), was programme manager at Virtueel Platform (2008–10), and head of exhibitions, education and artists-in-residence at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (1999–8). From 2008-14 she wrote her Ph.D. Enabling the Future, or How to Survive FOREVER. A study of networks, processes and ambiguity in net art and the need for an expanded practice of conservation, at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University, London. http://aaaan.net
“The investigation into the archive is urgent because the characteristics of the digital archive call for a reassessment of the material value of (digital) documents that no longer refer to the past but, in their use, focus on the present and future.”
This session explores some of the challenges and opportunities presented by digital archives. The main focus is on exploring the invisible layers of digital archives by treating them as systems, and by presenting several specifically commissioned artworks that confront notions of digital archiving. The aim of these artists, or archive-thinkers, is not to construct a new archive or to analyse an archive’s contents, but to see it as something that is in constant flux: something that is largely invisible and at the same time monumental, hidden and pervasive.
Such practice-led approaches to digital archiving are vital because the characteristics of the digital demand a reconsideration of the material value of (digital) documents, which not only refer to the past, but also, for example, through optimising and predicting algorithms, focus on the present and the future. In the process, the research addresses the impact of the ‘transparency mantra’ on the authoritarian position of museums and their archives.
The presentation and discussion, led by Annet Dekker (independent researcher, curator and writer), will move from the practical matters concerning digital archives into speculative thinking about born-digital archives. Questions that will be addressed are among others: What are the consequences on the content of the archive when physical collections are being digitised? To what extent does a digital archive function differently? Will the links between works and documents in the archive become clearer? And will insight into the past and present be advanced? In other words, can we learn (more) from the digital archive? How might we think about the content in archives when it is made by machines for other machines? How is the transformation of the archive into a computional, networked device changing how archives are curated, experienced and sustained? How can artists and archivists through practically engaging with the digital archive playfully interrogate, subvert or open up closed technical systems such as the archive to produce new knowledge concerning their social and cultural value?
Dialogue And Dare
A linguist and musician by training, Jo Santy has been serving the Musical Instruments Museum for 18 years. During his career he came into contact with every aspect of museum management. Today he is head of public services, a responsibility encompassing internal and external communications, marketing, visitor’s guidance, museum shop, events and educational programmes. He likes to look at the organisation as a system, designing flow from the outside in, in order to keep up with the variety in demand.
“Be resourceful and share what you have.”
Knowledge is power (Sir Francis Bacon)
Power is money (Al Pacino, Scarface)
Knowledge is money (?)
The Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels (mim) started out in 1877. In the year 2000 a brand new museum complex was opened. Fifteen years later, in times of budget cuts, staff reductions and radical changes in audience development, the museum is redesigning its public services.
Financial service, external communication, museumshop, ticketing and reservation, HR, object inventory, visitor’s guidance system and library all work with applications unable to talk to each other. There is huge scope for improvement in terms of work flow. We are also missing out on business opportunities.
There is a plan called “Dialogue and dare”, aiming at more cooperation, polyvalence, efficiency and transparency. Breaking boundaries between services, moving people and reorganising work spaces. I would like to briefly point out the plan to the table, followed by a discussion about how to underpin these dynamics happening with people and places with an adequate digital strategy.
Online dossiers, storytelling and content marketing
Pepijn Lemmens & Cathy Brickwood
Pepijn Lemmens: Digital content creative with a passion for culture and heritage. Extensive experience in initiating and managing web projects and digital solutions. Specialized in digital content strategies: optimizing content and delivery tools for best user experience. Coaching and training in these fields.
“How do we create narrative structures that have value for our audience, and provide a solid base for content marketing?”
Cathy Brickwood is web editor at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, where she is responsible for all project-based digital content and the institute’s digital content strategy. She has many years’ experience of knowledge management, advocacy and project management in the field of new media and culture, formerly for the Netherlands institute for electronic culture, Virtueel Platform.
Cultural institutions have a huge amount of content at their disposal and increasingly we are able to deliver this content through digital channels. However, simply presenting a pile of content to our viewers and readers is insufficient. We need to make sense of our content: show connections and context, create stories and build dossiers. The more content we put out there, the more complex this task becomes. Tagging, taxonomies and hierarchical structures help to structure the information, but do not create stories or meaningful context by themselves. How do we creature narrative structures that have value for our audience, and provide a solid base for content marketing?
At Het Nieuwe Instituut we have been experimenting with web magazines: project based sub-sites with their own visual identity, structure and URL. These online dossiers help to present our rich content in a wider context: a project typically involves an exhibition, lectures, interviews, collection items and long reads. Magazines provide an opportunity to tell a story about the subject at hand without overwhelming visitors with massive tag pages, content lists and database generated context. In a table session we would like to explore uses of online dossiers for storytelling and content marketing in cultural institutions.
Reaching the goals by connecting top down strategies with a bottom up approach
Rolf Källman is head of department at the Swedish National Archives and leads the work of Digisam, a secretariat that has the Governments assignment to coordinate the digitisation, digital long-term preservation and mediation of cultural heritage resources at the Swedish, state-funded archives, libraries and museums. Rolf Källman has a long experience from working with cultural heritage and heritage information in local, regional and national museums, and governmental agencies. For the last almost 20 years he has been engaged in the work to make digital heritage information accessible and usable. Rolf has a special engagement in working with digital cultural heritage from a cross domain, cross-sector and lifecycle-based, infrastructural perspective.
“I hate strategies”
From time to time we work intensely with setting up visions, goals and strategies. When we’re done we hopefully have reached a common understanding of where we’re heading and how to get there.
But, after a while our strategic documents tends to be standing in the bookshelves. We brush them up while working with annual plans and reports, but, unfortunately, they tend not to play an active role in our daily work. Since 2011, Digisam has the assignment to coordinate the digitisation within the state-funded heritage institutions. The main task is to coordinate the work with the national digital strategy, decided upon by the government. The strategy covers the entire range of digitisation issues. The focus lies on user participation, use and re-use in creative ways for experiences, knowledge-building or sheer fun. I’m arguing for that these goals cannot be achieved unless top-down strategies are tied closely together with the tools and supportive document used in the daily work at the institutions. We have tried to tackle this by formulating fourteen principles, supported by recommendations, checklists, handbooks etc, as a back-bone in proposed national guidelines for working with digital cultural heritage. Is this just a coordination secretariats wishful dreams or will it turn out to be a cost-effective way to reach a situation where the users easily can get hold of our common cultural digital heritage, use and re-use in a variety of combinations and situations?
Adding another layer: Europeana Space and sustainable prototyping
Gregory Markus is in charge of the Europeana Space Project “Innovation Space” which takes Hackathon prototypes to market-ready products. He currently works in R&D at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. He also serves as EuropeanaTech Community Manager. In the past, Gregory has been directly involved in multiple Europeana projects including Europeana Fashion, Europeana Creative, Europeana Space, Europeana Sounds, Europeana Awareness and EUscreenXL. Gregory holds a BA in European Studies from the University of Iowa and an MA in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam. He is also an Editorial Board Member for the DiRT Directory and manages the EuropeanaTech FLOSS Inventory.
Cultural heritage hackathon outcomes don’t scream “sustainability”! While being a fun playground for prototyping and experimentation, outcomes and contestants usually walk away with an award and a half-functioning prototype that ultimately joins the graveyard of apps on Github. Aware of this, projects focusing on creative re-use of heritage materials and SME development are changing their approach for such events. Projects like Europeana Creative held open “challenges” where participants could come and pitch their idea to a panel of experts and the strongest project or product would receive premium incubation support from the eCreative consortium. Europeana Space, arguably eCreative’s sister project, is also taking a new approach.
Espace employs a tiered pyramid process for hackathons, business modeling workshops and incubation. The goal is to produce 6 new sustainable projects by 2017. Each event has a different specific focus and outcome. The 6 hackathons stress strong, innovative and feasible, concepts. Three winners from each hackathon will then go through a business modeling workshop hosted by the REMIX Summit Agency. The workshops are rigorous and challenging, pushing the winners to conceptualize and make big decision about their products. The project with the strongest concept and business model is then awarded a premium incubation package. By adding the middle section, eSpace is able to assess and predict caveats that would impact the sustainability of the hackathon outcomes. We would like to have a frank and open discussion about hackathon and business models during DISH to hear what experts in this field have to add.
New forms of experiences lead to new business for museums
Dr. Patricia Alkhoven is program coordinator of CLICKNL Cultural Heritage, one of the six networks of the Topsector Creative Industries. Further, she is Coordinator of external cooperation of CLARIAH (NWO) that will build a digital infrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences in The Netherlands. Before, she was project manager for several heritage and ICT projects at The National Library of the Netherlands and the Meertens Institute; Director UDC Consortium and Collection Department Head at the Netherlands Architecture Institute.
Daring new ways to present museum collections, using new media, 3D reconstruction, visualization, design, 3D printing etc. will boost the museum sector in presenting Cultural Heritage artifacts. Museums will loose their modesty and traditional ways to exhibit and experiment with new ways to involve, immerge and stimulate the audience in the ultimate thrilling experience.
We present three examples of inspiring projects:
• Designing Experiences: Bernadette Schrandt
• Smart Replica’s : Maaike Roozenburg
• ArtFlix: Marieke van der Donk
Moderator: Patricia Alkhoven CLICKNL Cultural Heritage
CLICKNL Cultural Heritage is one of the six innovation networks of the Topsector Creative Industries. It brings together partners in Cultural Heritage (Museums, Archives, Libraries), knowledge institutions (Universities) and private companies.
Museums and digital heritage projects: How can they benefit?
Arno van Os & Marije de Nood
Marije de Nood (1977) studied Art History at the Utrecht University and attended the Research Master Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She has worked as a project officer for DEN Foundation and as a junior research assistant for Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Since 2004 she worked as an education officer at Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht. As a curator she presented the exhibition Pilgrims. On the way to Santiago de Compostela (2011/2012) and the exhibition “I care! Charity down the ages” (2014/2015). With a grant from NWO she started in September a study how to connect museum objects and personal memories.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
Arno van Os (1969) studied Museology at the Reinwardt Academy. Since 1991 he is working at Museum Catharijneconvent, first as collections database manager and later as collections registrar. Now he is working as collections registrar and Adlib applications manager. In 2014 he built an Adlib database as content management system for the multimedia tours in Museum Catharijneconvent. In the near future he may be breaking his head over how to connect personal memories to our museums collection and how to store, manage and spread them, according to the study of Marije de Nood.
“Let every wind be a joy and let every storm be a lesson” – From: The 1883 Balloonists Convention
Museums often develop innovative applications related to digital heritage. The past two years Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht for example has developed three unique projects with commercial companies. These kind of extensive projects cost a lot of (public) money, manpower and energy. How can we benefit as museum(s)? Before, during or after the development process? And could smart museums eventually earn money?
How can museums prevent a project to disappear after the loss of services of commercial parties? Must we develop digital heritage projects independently or together with a number of museums?
In 2012 together with Mediamatic we made a website to collect and share stories, www.catharijneverhalen.nl. Within two years Mediamatic sold the software, Anymeta, to another commercial company. Actually, they won’t update the software anymore unless we pay a lot of money to build a new site with new software.
How can we negotiate in an early state smartly with commercial companies to prevent them from reselling our museumproducts or to let them pay museums reasonable earnings?
In 2014 we made the decision to buy new multimedia guides (I-pods) to replace the old audio guides. During the process we concluded that the content management system and the Adlib databases had to be the same. IJsfontein Amsterdam build the multimedia software and the interface. All the tour information is stored in an Adlib database built by the museum and we can export this data all at once to our multimedia players. We are the first museum in the Netherlands who can build new multimedia tours ourselves this way. A dozen museums already showed interest in our product.
Who owns the digital application developed commissioned by museums?
In 2015, the museum launched Church Collection digital, a digital environment in which all religious objects are documented in churches and monasteries. This portal gives ecclesiastical owner access to the data of all religious objects in his church or monastery and he can add more objects. We developed the portal with Picturae. The initiative is an example for others and in future could also be used in the registration of many other collections. Institutions abroad have already shown interest.
Heritage for the people: what have we learned along the way – the road of Oneindig Noord-Holland
Geert-Jan Procee is the director of Oneindig Noord-Holland. Getting history to the people, attractively – that’s his mission. Heritage has no use sitting around. It should be accessible and accessed by many. And the way to get history into the hearts and minds is through stories. These stories are told on Oneindig Noord-Holland and on innl.nl.
Geert-Jan has a background in educational and cultural policy at the Netherlands ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the National Archives of The Netherlands and the Dutch Council for Culture. He also has a passion for rhetoric.
Oneindig Noord-Holland came about through a grand vision of the province of North-Holland. It wished to tell the stories of the province to the people. But how do you go about that? Oneindig Noord-Holland has been making this journey. It has found success but the road has not been easy. Where were the pitfalls? Where were the successes? How to find a public? How to find money?
The journey of Oneindig Noord-Holland has been captured. Let’s talk about the lessons that may or may not be applicable to many other organisations.
Information sharing is key – Sponsor Table Picturae
Every archival institution would like to publish their finding aids on portals like the Archives Portal Europe and reach a bigger audience. Unfortunately, this is not easy for everyone.
Many institutions don’t have the tools or the know-how to export their finding aids to Encoded Archival Description and make them available through OAI-PMH. With Memorix Archives you can do all this effortlessly. Picturae has developed Memorix Archives together with eight Dutch archives. The main purpose is to support all archive-related processes, such as acquisition, stocktaking, warehouse management, operations, etc.
Nowadays information sharing is the key to providing better services. Sharing your archival collection is possible when your finding aids apply to ICA standards like;
ISAAR (CPF), ISAD(G), ISDIAH. The exchange of data is done through OAI-PMH.
Why share your metadata only, when your archival collection contains such a treasure of digital objects? METS is the standard that allows you to share your digital objects alongside your finding aids on portals like the Archives Portal Europe.
Imagine what you can achieve if people from all around the globe have access to your collection.
More about Memorix Archives
Memorix Archives is built on modern Open Source software, is completely web based and can be used in a private environment. In addition, unlike other packages on the market, the software offers the following functionalities:
• Management of multilingual archival descriptions
• Direct delivery to European / Archives Portal Europe
• Integration to the collection management system
Pieter Woltjer is an historian with 15 years of experience in the ICT branch, mainly for Cultural Heritage institutions. As project manager for Picturae, Pieter is responsible for the development of the highly popular crowdsourcing platform VeleHanden.nl, the collection website of the prestigious Netherlands Institute for Art History and the brand-new, online, EAD-based archival management system Memorix Archives.
“sharing ideas, enriching our cultural heritage”
What can CLARIAH do for you!
Arjan van Hessen
Arjan van Hessen works as a researcher Language and Speech technology at the University Twente and the Enschede based software companyTelecats.
Moreover, he is responsible for the dissemination, PR and user-involvement of CLARIAH: the Dutch Infrastructure programme for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
We want you to help us so we can help you!
CLARIAH is a distributed research infrastructure enabling the access for researchers from the humanities and social science (SSH) to digital tools and data in a user-friendly and sustainable way. In CLARIAH researchers from the SSH work together with researchers from computer science and “content owners” such as the IISG, Beeld en Geluid, the Meertens Insitute. However, the tools and data are not exclusively meant for these data providers. To increase the impact of CLARIAH, we are looking for other content owners who are interesting to use the tools for their own work: being research or other.
At the CLARIAH-table at DISH2015 we want to talk to Cultural Heritage institutions in order to see how we possibly can work together. What can we, CLARIAH, do for you and how can you, Cultural Heritage Institutions, help us to establish the infrastructure in such a way that more organisations can profit from the final infrastructure?
National Digital Heritage Strategy
Anja Tollenaar, Wilbert Helmus & Marcel Ras
Anja Tollenaar is coordinating the work package ‘Visibility’ in the Digital Heritage Network. It is her ambition to present the wide range of Dutch digital collections to the general public in relevant and creative ways. Over the years she has built up ample expertise in the heritage sector. To aid the conservation, management and access of archives and collections in the area of Dutch design she built up a network of collaborating heritage institutions. This involved establishing a central register and accompanying site for information dissemination: The National Design Archive. With her background in arts, design history and cultural studies she researched the visual communication of theatre posters. Archives of interior design were subject of research and publications.
“Historical sensation for everyone! Historical sensation is the intense and instant experience of the past, by words, images or sounds in the present.” – Johan Huizinga, 1950
Wilbert Helmus is coordinating the work programme ‘Usable Digital Heritage’ in the Digital Heritage Network. Wilbert has a broad experience in the domain of cultural heritage. As a consultant, he has had among his clients UNESCO, the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency, Zuiderzeemuseum, Catharijneconvent, Kolleksjesintrum Fryslân and a regional consortium of museums, libraries and archives. Previously, he worked as an Inspector at the National Cultural Heritage Inspectorate, as a cultural heritage business consultant at Reekx and as Head of Collections and Knowledge Management at the Fries Museum/National Ceramics Museum Princessehof in Leeuwarden. He has been involved in various regional, national and international partnerships and consortia. He was educated as librarian and has worked for more than 12 years in the library of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
“Mankind’s greatest invention is the search function.” (“De beste uitvinding van de mensheid is de zoekfunctie.”) – Arthur Brand at TedxEde, via Seecr
Marcel Ras is Program Manager for the Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (NCDD). The NCDD was founded in 2008 by a group of public organisations, which consider the long-term preservation of digital data collections to be one of their core tasks. The coalition aims to construct a shared organizational and technical infrastructure to ensure the long-term usability of digital files. This cannot be done all at once. A realistic approach would involve a gradual build-up, taking into consideration the differing responsibilities, roles, velocities, and means of all parties involved.
NCDD acts as a platform for haring knowledge in The Netherlands and as coordinator of collaborative projects in order to establish a national infrastructure. In this role Marcel is manager of the work programme Digitaal Erfgoed Houdbaar (Sustainable Digital Heritage) which is carried out a two-year programme of the Digital Heritage Network (NDE) and financed by OCW. In this work programme heritage organisations are collaborating in establishing a set of services, procedures, policies and standards to guarantee long-term access to digital information in The Netherlands in a cross-domain field. Marcel is NCDD’s Program Manager since January 2014 but has some years of experience in Digital Preservation. He started his Digital Preservation career at the national library of The Netherland (KB) where he set up a web archiving program. From 2007 until 2011 Marcel was manager of the e-Depot department at the KB and responsible for acquisition, ingest and long term storage of digital publications in the library. As program manager for the International e-Depot he became responsible for the development of the international e-journals archiving program of the KB in 2011. Marcel received his M.A. degree from Nijmegen University in Ancient History and Archaeology in 1992. After some of years of Archaeological field survey in Turkey and Italy, he joined the Post-Graduate training on Historical Information processing at Leiden University as Head and teacher of the training school. From 1999 to 2005 he worked as a consultant for the Digital Heritage Association and was involved in many digitization- and standardization projects in The Netherlands. As of 2005 Marcel embarked on his digital preservation mission.
This strategy offers a perspective on developing a national, cross-sector infrastructure of digital heritage facilities. It contains objectives, starting points, and specific work programmes for a joint approach. Key in this approach is a three layer model: visibility, usability and sustainaility of digital heritage. The strategy was developed within the Digital Heritage Network.
Digital Heritage Network
The Digital Heritage Network [Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed] (‘NDE’) is a partnership that focuses on developing a system of national facilities and services for improving the visibility, usability, and sustainability of digital heritage. The network was established on the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science [Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap] (‘OCW’). The members of the NDE are large, national institutions that strive to professionally preserve and manage digital data (the National Library [Koninklijke Bibliotheek], The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision [Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid], the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency [Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed], and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences [Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie voor Wetenschappen], and the National Archive), the DEN Foundation [kenniscentrum DEN], the INNL portal, and a growing number of associations and individuals both within and outside the heritage sector.