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Building bridges with BRICKS

- Digital Cultural Heritage Networks in Europe -

A workshop for decision makers in cultural heritage institutions

Residenz, Salzburg, Austria

23 June 2006

Organised by ARC Seibersdorf Research


Many cultural and educational institutions in Europe have organised their data in databases and published them on the web. However, in most cases, these databases only contain data related to the organisation’s specific domain of interest, and provide no means to interlink them with complementary information from other institutions. Significant potential synergies between different databases are thereby lost. Also, the multitude of isolated databases available makes it difficult to locate information.

This workshop is dedicated to approaches to these problems. We present projects related to the establishment of Digital Cultural Heritage Networks in Europe. The focus is not on building new systems, but on providing a network infrastructure to integrate existing data, thus minimising the effort necessary to join the network.

Following a keynote speech by Prof. Karl Aberer, we will present results from the EU FP 6 project BRICKS. BRICKS is a peer-to-peer network without central administration, where each of the member institutions runs a node in the network. BRICKS provides an infrastructure for content and metadata management, query processing, security, and so on. New components satisfying the needs of a specific organisation can easily be added. A Web application front-end (which will be demonstrated) allows the user to access the functionality of this BRICKS infrastructure from any place in the world with an internet connection.

All infrastructure components have a web-service interface, which allows developers to build distributed applications on top of them. As a practical example, we will demonstrate the applications developed for the Austrian National Library – tools to create and publish online exhibitions and to set up and manage expert forums. These demonstrations will be followed by Question-and-Answer Sessions. We will then present other European projects in the field and conclude the workshop with a panel discussion.

The workshop is targeted at decision-makers in Cultural Heritage institutions who wish to add value to their digital resources by increasing their visibility (while retaining full access control) and linking them to additional resources provided by other institutions.



09:00-09:30 Keynote speech Prof. Karl Aberer: “Next Generation Digital Library Architectures”
09:30-10:00 Overview of BRICKS
10:00-10:30 Web front-end: the BRICKS Workspace
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:30 BRICKS Applications for the Austrian National Library
11:30-12:15 EU Projects in Digital Cultural Heritage
12:15-13:00 Panel Discussion



Download detailed information



Dr. Robert Hecht <>


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