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Bridging Knowledge Collections: Integration of a digital Repository with the online museum Catalogues of Egyptian objects and the Egyptological library (BKC)

Research project AG/LL/167 (Research action AG)

Persons :

  • Dhr.  CLAES Wouter - Royal Museums for Art and History ()
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/7/2012-30/11/2014
  • Prof. dr.  RADEMAKERS Johan - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/7/2012-30/11/2014

Description :

The Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) are one of Belgium’s biggest museums. Thousands of art treasures and historical objects from around the globe give an overview of human history from prehistoric to present times. As a scientific institution and museum, the mission of the RMAH is to collect, to conserve, to study and exhibit these objects. Therefore, the RMAH have installed and developed an extensive library. The majority of both the museum collections and the library collections are available in online catalogues.
For the time being, these databases exist and function independently from each other. As such, their scientific value and potential are not yet completely exploited. Nevertheless, it is clear that an inherent and logical overlap exists between these different collections, which could ultimately lead to a quality improvement, a higher visibility and a better dissemination and valorisation.

The project aims to develop an online integrated search-and-browse environment for all these different collection catalogues. An infrastructure will be implemented that integrates data and information from the catalogue of museum objects with the library catalogue and that allows to aggregate links to available images and relevant full-text documents from the digital repository and other services for the end-user.
Special attention will be given to the use of international standards and protocols regarding Open Access and interoperability which should allow for an efficient integration and exchange with other national and international initiatives and projects.
Given the total size of the both the museum collection (over 650.000 objects) and the museum library (ca. 500.000 volumes), the collection of Egyptian antiquities and the Egyptological library were selected and will serve as a test case. Both collections enjoy an international reputation.

This project will allow the RMAH and the KUL to create an infrastructure for a broad and wide dissemination and valorisation of their collections. It will virtually open the doors of both the exhibition and the storerooms of the museum which provides visitors worldwide a new insight into the museum collections.

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