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“Each heritage institution owns its data and can share it with others"

Learn how this team created a unified view on distributed data.

The Dutch Digital Heritage Network (Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed) is a partnership in the Netherlands that focuses on developing a system of national facilities and services for improving the visibility, usability, and sustainability of digital heritage. The network is open to all institutions and organisations in the digital heritage field.

Goal: to explore durable and unified storage of heritage information

Even if we only consider the Netherlands, there are already several thousands of heritage institutions - large and small - that each manage a part of the total heritage information. However, combining this information so it can be, for example, queried as a whole or made accessible, is extremely difficult.

Strategy: decouple data and apps while ensuring semantic interoperability

Currently, heritage data resides in the collection management applications of heritage institutions. To make things worse, this data is not semantically standardised. To break the silos, the Dutch Digital Heritage Network decided to follow two principles. First, heritage information and collection management applications needed to be decoupled. Second, heritage information needs to be described using the same terms.

Results: an experimental open source collection management system, WebIDs and pods, and search engine

In response, the Dutch Digital Heritage Network asked Digita to build Solid CRS: an experimental open source collection management system so small heritage institutions can get a WebID and store information about their collection in their own Solid pod. Solid CRS ensures that each heritage institution uses the same semantic terms by relying on the network of terms.

"Thanks to Digita and Solid, we are now one step closer to durable and unified storage of heritage information."
- Enno Meijers, Information Manager - Dutch Digital Heritage Network

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