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Publication . Article . 2012

A Portal to Dutch Academic Heritage:

Henriette Reerink;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2012 Journal: Studium, volume 5, page 170 (issn: 1876-9055, eissn: 2212-7283, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Uopen Journals
Country: Netherlands

The UNICUM development project, commissioned by the Dutch Academic Heritage Foundation (SAE), has been carried out by the five classic Dutch universities in 2010-12. UNICUM, short for ‘University Collections and University Museums’, has received a national government grant to create a digital portal to Dutch academic heritage. The portal, which can be reached via, presents both academic archives and museum and library collections. Images, collection metadata and items can be found on one site. The UNICUM idea is inspired by the Online Archive of California. The project is important because it crosses the traditional sector boundaries between museums, libraries and archives; it creates awareness of the opportunities that this cross-sectoral approach offers; and it retains the context of - and the relation between - objects within collections as a whole. Moreover, the joint effort brings to light the importance of creating metadata according to international standards to stimulate re-use and exchange of content. In addition, UNICUM was intended to be a technical project in which multi-level descriptions are presented and can be browsed in a structured way (collections linked to objects, and archives linked to separate documents). Now that the project is finished, the focus will shift to generating content. UNICUM aimed to create structured and integrated access to academic heritage by: - using international standards (CCO and CDWA Lite) to stimulate exchange of metadata; examining the potential of EAD as an exchange standard for (non-archival) collections and for structuring related items; - determining a common method and creating an online input module for registration at collection level using ‘Best Practice Guidelines’; - developing an integrated format and online input module for thematic and highlight descriptions; - choosing available and established thesauri which cover all aspects of the future content; focusing on the interrelation between items on one hand and collections as a whole on the other, and - vice versa; an interrelation that tells the story of, and gives meaning to cultural heritage; harvesting of the aggregation’s content by Europeana.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Relation (database) Metadata Structuring Context (language use) Multimedia computer.software_genre computer Cultural heritage Focus (computing) Best practice Meaning (linguistics) World Wide Web Political science

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:History of scholarship and learning. The humanities lcsh:AZ20-999


General Medicine, academic heritage, university history, university museum, library, archives