"eHeritage" – digital exploitation of cultural heritage

From burial monuments to shellac discs, these artifacts are essential for research and education. However, many remain digitally uncatalogued in museums, archives, universities, and libraries. This is why the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding their digitisation on a large scale from 2016 to 2023.

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Historical artefacts have always been the subject of scientific examination and the generation and dissemination of knowledge. But only with digitisation and the provision of digital data will all these objects be made accessible for research via digital platforms, regardless of time and place.

In 2016, the 'eHeritage' programme was published for the first time by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The aim of this first funding guideline was to support two different types of projects in order to expand the digitisation of cultural heritage objects which have research relevance, to develop them and make them accessible to the academic community:

Funding line I 'Concepts' supported projects that developed a comprehensive digitisation concept, including a data management plan and rights clearance for their respective material, over a period of nine months. Funding line II 'Digitisation' initiated projects that have implemented or are currently implementing existing digitisation concepts.

In 2019, the announcement of another funding guideline for the "eHeritage" programme made it possible to fund more projects that implement existing digitisation concepts.  (See Federal Gazette of May 13, 2019)

Funding will be provided for projects which develop, digitise, store and make sources in the humanities and cultural sciences available for research purposes. The prerequisite for funding such digitisation projects is that the resulting digitised material forms the basis for further research.

Research projects on the digitisation of cultural heritage objects

With the first funding line, funds were granted to 29 projects in 2016 for the creation of digitisation concepts. With the second funding line in 2016, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research supported the digitisation of cultural heritage objects through 24 research projects. With the announcement of 2019, nine more projects have started digitising cultural heritage since October 2020.
Overview of the funded projects: