Potsdamer Platz, Source: Darko Pribeg / Unsplash

Berlin wants to digitalise archived culture and open it to the public

Berlin wants to digitalise archived culture and open it to the public

The project aims to create data sets and meta data, which would be freely available

Yesterday, local authorities in Berlin announced a new program for digitalising cultural heritage held in the city. Said program will provide funding for both public and private organisations that can execute projects that will bring archives, books, art pieces and etc. to the digital age.

One very important requirement for participation is that the data should be freely available to the public, with unrestricted usability through open licences. Additionally, funded projects will have to run for one year and according to an official statement by the city, Berlin is looking for projects that emphasise decolonisation.

Digital transformation of archives

The digitalisation programme is run by Berlin’s Senate Department of Culture and Social Cohesion and submissions for the public tender are now open. The deadline for submissions is 21 July, while results will be announced in October 2023 with an independent jury presiding over the results.

Meanwhile, projects will have a maximum funds allocation of 150,000 euros, although city officials say the number of awarded initiatives is still unknown. At the same time, organisations need to finalise their work within the year 2024.

Projects need to focus on digitalising cultural heritage pieces and making them available to the public, including library archives, museum pieces and memorial sites in Berlin. Making the data sets public and easy to use for the public would help to democratise them.

Furthermore, institutions and organisations can team up and submit collective bids for funding. Projects can also try to engage the public and encourage more participation in the open data sets through easier-to-navigate digital applications. According to the city, the code for the applications should be made open source if possible.



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