Brabant Cloud - accelerating the digital connection of cultural heritage to the public

 

An initiative in the province of Noord-Brabant (The Netherlands) facilitates cultural heritage institutions to digitally unlock their collections to a wide audience, without these institutions having to invest in the knowhow and equipment themselves. This initiative accelerates the digital connection of the province’s cultural heritage to the public. The Brabant Cloud, initiated by the organisation Heritage Brabant (Erfgoed Brabant), is a sustainable digital infrastructure which provides a semantic way to capture, store and share all cultural heritage information in the province of Noord–Brabant. It unlocks the heritage information, which is now often trapped in fragmented, local database systems of various local history groups, museums, archives and libraries. Think of collections, monuments, people, organizations, stories, places and historical events. Specially designed to break down the barriers between these silos of information, the Brabant Cloud starts capturing the links between all these forms of cultural heritage information in a meaningful way. Additionally this service of storing and sharing data makes it so much easier for heritage institutions to present their collections on the Internet and get involved with innovative web applications for example smart phones, web applications and multi-touch tables, in order to reach a wider audience. The Brabant Cloud is built with open source software based on open standards. Digital cultural heritage information in the cloud can be made available as Linked Open Data, where the owners of the data are in charge. As a heritage institution you determine how and with whom you share your data. The Brabant Cloud is still growing and exploring with the cultural field the possibilities that this system offers for unlocking cultural information and for activating its audiences, not only for the current collections, but also to expand it to for example theatre, bands or the work of artists and designers. More information can be found at http://www.brabantcloud.nl

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