Mid-term review meeting

On May 4, 2012 the DCA project coordinator and work package leaders will take part in the mid-term review of the DCA project. The first fifteen months have elapsed, showing very good progress and interim results.

The current project accomplishments will be evaluated in a technical review by two external experts (Sören Auer, University of Leipzig and Kirk Martinez, University of Southampton) and the DCA Project Officer (Thomas Jaeger).

In preparation of the review, a report showing the project progress has been written. Its publishable summary is available for download by clicking here (PDF). Below you can find an extract of the summary, highlighting some results.

The first six months of the DCA project were dedicated to establishing a framework that would allow for all content providers to plan their digitisation at an optimal resource-quality ratio. The framework was established on the stages and phases in the life-cycle of a digitisation project, and on best practices, expert knowledge and technical support. This required an extensive assessment of the status quo of the very different situations of each content partner, resulting in a digitisation plan. This plan details the targeted quality and schedule of identified content segments along the trajectory of the digitisation workflow. Only after six months, with all digitisation plans drafted, did the actual digitisation phase start.

The indicators show highly satisfactory progress after fifteen months, with figures exceeding all expectations. Nearly twice as many items have IPR cleared (9,827 items) and around 30% more items than anticipated were digitised (12,834 items). 12,508 of these digitised items were recorded in the partners’ collection management system with the appropriate metadata. This is already three times more than expected for the period. Aggregating digitised content and metadata to Europeana is planned for M22 onwards. This explains why currently only a fairly low number of digital reproductions have yet been placed online on the presentation platforms of the content partners (2,632 items online).

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, copyright issues and the Europeana Data Exchange Agreement. The knowledge gained from the assessment of the content partners’ status quo was linked to the available expertise and experience in the consortium. This led to the creation of several deliverables. The first was a digitisation workflow description. Guidelines on metadata implementation and long-term preservation strategy followed, and both were published on the project website. Two other reports described the results of the content partners' assessment and of suitable aggregators for harvesting the metadata and thumbnails and ingesting them to Europeana.

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