The DCA project has successfully reached its midterm

(Press release of October 19 2012)

The project Digitising Contemporary Art (DCA) is contributing significantly to the presentation of contemporary art available on Europeana, the single access point to Europe's digital cultural heritage. In addition to the artworks and contextual documents, the project delivers practical guidelines on best practices in the field of digitisation and preservation of contemporary art. The project has successfully reached its halfway mark and we are pleased to announce that the results exceed all expectations.

Around 30% more items than anticipated have been digitised (12,834 items, including artworks of, for instance, Barry Flanagan, Stephan von Huene, Atelier Van Lieshout, Claes Oldenburg). 12,508 of these digitised items have been recorded in the partners’ collection management system with the appropriate metadata. This is three times more than expected for the period. So far, 2,632 items have already been placed online on the respective content partners' websites. The aggregation of digitised content and metadata to Europeana is planned from November 2012 onwards.

During the first period lasting six months, (January-June 2011) the project consortium carried out an extensive assessment of the status of the collections and the very different situations of each content partner. This allowed for the establishment of a digitisation framework for the whole project, based on best practices, expert knowledge and technical support. Subsequently each content provider created an individual digitisation plan, detailing the targeted quality and schedule of identified content segments along the trajectory of the digitisation workflow. Only after the planning phase did the actual digitisation start (July 2011) and it has since been a work-in-progress.

Parallel to the digitisation process, workshops were held to offer in-depth introductions to metadata schemes, file format and codec standards, XML exports, vocabularies, long-term preservation tools and strategies, aggregation procedures and copyright issues. Guidelines based on the experience and assessment of the best and successful practices in terms of digitisation and preservation strategies are published to the benefit of other professionals in the field. Interviews with the staff of museums and other art institutions involved in the DCA project give a concrete insight on the issues faced in the process of creating digital collections. Deliverables, project-related documents, interview transcripts and other information can be found on the DCA website.

Image credits:

  • Stephan von Huene: 'Untitled', from the series Mind Maps (1987), pencil on paper, collection of Dr. Petra Kipphof von Huene, digitised at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany.

  • Tamás Waliczky: 'Landscape' (1998), Awarded Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica 1998 in the category Computer Animation/Visual Effects, the archive of Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, Austria.

  • Pat Andrea: 'Returning from Greece' (1965), oil on canvas, 108x150cm (c) Frissiras Museum, Athens, Greece.

  • Click here to download the full press release as PDF. Language: English

Stephan von Huene: 'Untitled' Stephan von Huene: 'Untitled'
Tamas Walickzy: 'Landscape' Tamas Walickzy: 'Landscape'
Pat Andrea: 'Returning from Greece' Pat Andrea: 'Returning from Greece'

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