The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) goes online for the general public today at www.deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de.
Matthias Harbort, Head of New Media for the Federal Government Representative for Culture and Media and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, as well as Jill Cousins, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, today introduced the new portal together.
This will pave the way for networking all of Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions together with their digitised inventories in the medium to long term and integrating them into the European digital library, Europeana. “The goal of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB) is to offer everyone unrestricted access to Germany’s cultural and scientific heritage, that is, access to millions of books, archived items, images, sculptures, pieces of music and other sound documents, as well as films and scores, from all over Germany” explained Hermann Parzinger.
The first public beta version provides users with a great many contents and new functions. Users can explore the entire inventory of items using search terms. In addition, the system provides an advanced search as well as different filters to narrow down results. “The information to be found there has been processed with a great deal of editorial care and bears the quality seal of Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions” emphasises Elke Harjes-Ecker. “Search results are not influenced by commercial interests.” Thanks to the comprehensive preparation of the metadata, it is possible to carry out a uniform search in the collections from different contexts. “The user will soon be able to navigate between the objects found using semantic references, which will open up unexpected content and contexts. This will highlight connections and cross-references that are not clearly visible on the websites of individual institutions or on domain-specific sites, such as purely library-based portals for example. This is a feature unique to the DDB.” explains Matthias Harbort.
One important function fulfilled by the DDB is that of national data aggregator for the European cultural portal Europeana. It enables German cultural and scientific institutions to make a significant contribution towards this European project. “The Europeana emerged from the conviction that free, democratic access to cultural heritage must be guaranteed for everyone so that the opportunities provided by digitalisation can be used for the further development of our society,” says Jill Cousins. “We are happy to have the DDB on board as a central national partner whose support will help us work towards fulfilling our objective.”
Direct to DDB
Read the Complete Announcement