All posts by Adam Dudczak

„Biblioteka, Książka, Informacja i Internet 2010” conference

We had a chance to present ACCESS IT e-learning course during the international “Biblioteka, Książka, Informacja i Internet 2010” conference which was held in Lublin (18-19th of October 2010) at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University.

During the conference we listened about challenges and achievements of Polish and Ukrainian academic libraries. There was also a possibility to listen about informational needs of Polish scientists and their ideas how those needs might be satisfied by libraries.

All articles are available in the conference proceedings which were distributed during the conference.

E-learning educational courses for small memory institutions

One of the main aims of the ACCESS IT project is to support digitisation of cultural heritage and development of digital libraries in small memory institutions in three target countries covered by this project. In the second half of October these countries held a series of conferences, on which the current form of ACCESS IT e-learning courses was presented:

The agenda of these conferences reflected current needs of people/institutions who are involved in digitisation of cultural heritage in particular countries. Topics discussed during the conference covered not only the scope of the ACCESS IT project. One of the actively discussed subjects was the role and importance of Europeana. Other important topic were the needs of small and medium memory institutions in terms of creation of digital libraries.

During these conferences Adam Dudczak, member of the PSNC Digital Libraries Team, had a pleasure to present first complete version of ACCESS IT e-learning courses. Reference version of these courses is available under At the moment any interested person can register and go through the content of the following two courses:

The content of both courses was consulted/reviewed by Polish and foreign experts in digitisation and digital libraries. These courses together are divided into 40 modules, which cover very broad set of concepts and practical advices associated to digitisation, metadata, digital libraries, aggregation and of course Europeana.

As already mentioned, courses deployed on PSNC server are a reference version. Each project partner prepared his own adapted version of the reference courses. In the nearest future this will be a base for certification programmes launched in target countries.

Both courses are available under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-alike license. If you are interested in using these materials, please contact us.

Slides from presentation “Access IT e-learning courses: overview of an educational offering dedicated for small memory institutions” are available here.

Culture 2007-2013 Logo
Ten program prac został zrealizowany przy wsparciu finansowym Komisji Europejskiej. Program lub publikacja odzwierciedlają jedynie stanowisko ich autora i Komisja Europejska nie ponosi odpowiedzialności za umieszczoną w nich zawartość merytoryczną.

“Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies” available online

Some time ago Getty Foundation have released a free book [1] “Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies – Terminology for Art., Architecture and Rother Cultural Works” written by Patricia Harpring. Author is a managing editor for Getty Vocabulary Program which includes three vocabularies: Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) and the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). She is also one of the creators of “Categories for the Description of Works of Art” (CWDA) metadata standard [2].

Book features a straightforward explanation of what controlled vocabularies are in the context of work of arts, museums, archival collections, libraries and scholars. Apart from this reader would also find there descriptions of existing controlled vocabularies and thesauruses including AAT, TGN, ULAN, CT, LCSH, TGM, IconClass. Author explains in which parts of metadata it is reasonable to use controlled vocabularies with some suggestions regarding to usage of existing vocabularies.

Apart from this what was already mentioned there is also chapter dedicated to creation of controlled vocabularies and some examples showing how to catalogue works of art. In the final chapter of the book author discusses issues associated with retrieval using controlled vocabularies.

Over 3 million orphan books in Europe – European Commision report

According to recent European Commision (EC) report there at least 3 million orphan books in Europe. Oprhan works are works which are still in copyright but rigth holders cannot be traced. EC gathered responses from 22 cultural institutions which are involved in digitisation work, including national libraries, archives, and national films collections. From Poland the study participants were the National Library and the National Digital Archive.

Problem with clearing information about right holders is not limited to books, there is a huge number of photographs and audiovisual materials whose copyright owners are unknown or untraceable.

The European Commision report can be downloaded here.


“Transforming Culture in the Digital Age” international conference in Estonia

Digital culture and all the opportunities granted to users by new media are leading to reflection on the role and future activities of memory institutions in this extremely interesting times. This cultural transformation were the main topic of  “Transforming Culture in the digital age” ( conference which was held on 14th – 16th of April in Estonian city Tartu.  Organizers manager to gather academics as well as renowned practitioners from all around  the Word.  Conference programme was filled up with more than 50 lectures , presented in three parallel tracks.  Sometimes it was really hard to choose where to go because all presentations were very interesting. Thankfully organizers decided to publish full text of all papers as an ebook, it is available

During the conference Adam Dudczak for the PSNC DL Team presented a paper “Large-scale aggregation of metadata from distributed digital libraries in Poland”. Paper described basic assumptions, motivations , architecture and achievements of Digital Libraries Federation.

Among many interesting presentation which was presented at the conference we selected three the most interesting.

“How Web 3.0 combines user-generated and machine-generated content” –  Stijn Bannier i Chris Vleugels ( .

Authors analyzed the development of the World Wide Web, this analysis was a starting point for discussion about potential impact of semantic web (or as some people say web 3.0) to our cultural habits.  To give a glimpse into how it might look like, authors presented results of scientific project CUPID (Cultural Profile and Information Database).  CUPID was aimed to build a prototype of a service which aggregates, categorize,  personalize and distribute cultural content (i.e. recommended exhibitions and concerts). After the presentation there was a really interesting discussion about privacy of internet users and how will cultural content consumption look like in the world of automatic recommendations (see Epic 2015).

“Locative Media and Augmented Reality. Bridges and Borders between Real and Virtual Spaces” –  Marisa Gómez Martínez (

Augmented Reality and Locative Media are very interesting not only from the perspective of the industry but opens many interesting opportunities for the cultural institutions. Author of this presentation showed a lot of examples of cultural/art projects which are using augmented reality and geo-awareness.  Two most interesting examples:

  • BioMapping ( – using a special devices capable to record human emotions and their geographic location Christian Nold created a emotional map of the cities like San Francisco and Paris.
  • In general all Julian Olivier’s works are very interesting but Advertiser ( is exceptional.  Julian says that Advertiser is more a Improved Reality than an Augmeneted Reality Project.  It is somehow true, just imagine a public space free from all advertisements.

These examples (and others) illustrated the rising role of virtual reality in the way how we perceive reality.

“For those looking for information and experiences:  National Digital Library of Finland” – Tapani Sainio, Mikael Vakkari (

National Digital Library of Finland (  is a project of the Ministry of Education of Finland.  Project was started in 2008, and will last till 2011, it is a joint effort of 35 institutions (including governmental , scientific and cultural units). Aim of this project is to assure a long term access to resources of libraries, museums and archives.  This should advance development of national scientific and learning infrastructure.

It seems that  National Digital Library of Finland project  will deliver:

  • national standards and recommendations in order to achieve interoperability between various data providers,
  • roadmap/strategy for long term digital content preservation,
  • web interface (in 2011) which will allow to access to a whole variety of Finland’s cultural heritage.

The architecture and some of the goals of National Digital Library of Finland are very similar to Digital Libraries Federation. In the initial phase of development it will serve as a metadata aggregator who will forward Finish metadata to Europeana.

The Impact of Search Engine Optimisation on Organisations’ Websites

Strategic Content Alliance is a JISC funded joint initiative of British Library, BBC, BECTA, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and National Library for Health. Aimed to build a common information environment where users of publicly funded e-content can gain best value from the investment that has been made by reducing the barriers that currently inhibit access, use and re-use of online content.

Recently SCA released a report “The Impact of Search Engine Optimisation on Organisations’ Websites“. This document contains general recommendations about application of SEO rules and techniques in the process of e-content publication. Authors presents a case study aimed to verify appropriateness of mentioned recommendations. These hints were implemented in three institutions Swansea University, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD) and Archives Hub. Report describes the implementation process and overall evaluation criteria.

Most of proposed solutions were based on free Webmasters’ tools prepared by Google i.e. Analytics, Webmaster, Alerts. It is worth to mention about “Annex 1: Organisations’ websites review”, this part of report contains the results of audit performed by SEO professionals. This material can be quite easily used to conduct a SEO audit of your own website.

Sign up as Test User!

One of the project from Europeana group – Europeana Connect is currently preparing several surveys and usability tests to evaluate new elements on the Europeana website. If you are interested in improvement of Europeana sign up as a Europeana test user. In order to join you need to fill in a small survey with information about yourself and your use of the internet and mobile phone.

dLibra also needs some testers! dLibra 5.0 is developed in a bit different way than a previous version. If you are interested in taking a closer look at things which will be available in 5.0 take a look at our dlTeam repository which is using dLibra 5.0. Software still may contain some bugs, if you spot any – let us know!