"eHeritage" – digital exploitation of cultural heritage

Whether Roman tomb monuments, Japanese shellac records or ethnographic collections – these objects are of great interest to research. These cultural treasures are in the care of museums, archives, universities and libraries, but only a few are digitally accessible. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been funding digitisation on a larger scale since 2016.

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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.

Therefore, in May 2019, the BMBF once again announced its funding programme "eHeritage" for the digitisation and indexing of academically relevant objects contained in our cultural heritage. 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

The BMBF is currently funding 24 research projects on the digitisation of cultural heritage objects, one of which is the "Zwischen Kolonialismus und Weltoffenheit" (Between Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism) project. The Museumsverbund Nordfriesland is digitising the ethnographic collections of Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark. A total of 19 museums house 16,510 ethnographic objects and historical photographs. Digitalisation opens up new, previously neglected sources of colonial regional history, thereby giving a new impetus to academic research.

"eHeritage" funding programme

  • WHAT: Enable digitisation of cultural heritage items
  • WHY: free access to digital cultural assets to answer research questions
  • WHO: Individual and collaborative projects that develop, digitize, store and make sources in the humanities and cultural sciences available for research purposes
  • HOW: Funding programme "eHeritage", Federal Gazette of 13.05.2019