Arto Teräs: How can libraries collaborate with museums and archives in the digital domain?

The Finnish National Digital Library public interface will offer a uniform view to digital content in libraries, museums and archives. Custom views for various purposes can also be created. On a wider scale, Europeana provides access to content on European level. This offers great new possibilities for collaboration between participating organizations.
I am interested for example in the following questions:

  • Which challenges (especially related to digital content) are common between libraries, museums and archives, and which are unique to libraries?
  • What can libraries give to museums and archives and vice versa?
  • How can we best take advantage of the new user interface? What kind of custom views could be useful?
  • What kind of new experiences can we offer to customers by combining the content and knowledge of libraries, museums and archives?

Arto Teräs
CSC — IT Center for Science Ltd

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  1. Arto Teräs

    I discussed this topic with several people during the trip. This kind of co-operation seems to be still relatively rare, but growing.

    Perhaps the most interesting project I heard about during the trip was Virtuaalipolku.fi, a web site where libraries and other cultural organizations in Hämeenlinna are collaboratively creating maps about culturally interesting locations, objects and services in the area. That’s a perfect example of how combining the knowhow and content from several organizations can give a richer experience for users.

    Also projects about digital publishing and preservation seem to be moving towards larger collaborations, including several different types of organizations. The necessary information systems are costly to build and maintain, and the needs are similar, so it makes sense to do things together. One example of this is the Biodiversity Heritage Library consortium, which digitizes legacy literature of biodiversity, makes it accessible online (http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/) and also takes care of the long term preservation of the content.

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