9TH – 11TH DECEMBER 2019




NDE Programme Manager
Usable Digital Heritage,
Koninklijke Bibliotheek

10th Dec


Enno Meijers works for the Research Department of the National Library of the Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) as an advisor in the field of information infrastructures. The National Library is a member of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE), a national programme aimed at increasing the social value of digital heritage. As programme manager Usable Digital Heritage at NDE Enno is responsible for a programme to improve the digital infrastructure for cultural heritage information. Semantic Web and distributed web technologies are key elements in this infrastructure.

Enno is also involved in CLARIAH, a national programme for building research infrastructures for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Earlier he was responsible for the development of the National Library Catalogue as part of the digital infrastructure for the public libraries. He has been working in the cultural heritage domain for the past twenty years, is a board member of the DBpedia Association and he holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Informatics.


The Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE) is a collaboration of all heritage institutions in the Netherlands to develop a system of facilities and services to improve the visibility, usability and sustainability of digital heritage for all Dutch citizens. More and more collections of archives, libraries, media, museums and knowledge institutions are being made available online and in digital formats. Only by working together we can make optimum use of our digital collections and keep them accessible. To enable this, institutions and partnerships in the heritage sector need knowledge, services and facilities that can be shared. The Digital Heritage Network is the meeting, coordination and collaboration point that makes this possible. Based on the National Digital Heritage Strategy and with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science a national programme has been developed to build a stronger network for our digital heritage. The programme involves a wide variety of initiatives including developing a reference architecture to improve the exchange of information, organizing a supporting network for training and education, optimizing governance structures to foster a more inclusive network and many other initiatives.

Starting with a brief overview of the national programme the main topic of my talk will be about a range of projects we initiated for improving the usability of digital heritage information. Our long term goal is to create a distributed network of digital heritage information. Semantic Web and distributed web technologies are at the core of our strategy. The activities of our programme focus in particular on the realisation of business-to-business services for heritage institutions. Collaboration with suppliers and private parties are an essential part of this approach.

In our projects, we shift the focus back to the sources of the digital heritage information, the collection management systems in the institutions. Instead of improving the data at intermediate layers such as aggregator platforms or service portals our goal is to help institutes improve their data and support them with tools to publish their data in a higher quality better connected and easily accessible. We are building a federated service for querying reference sources for places, persons and subjects. Another network service is focussed on collecting metadata about the collections in the network into a dynamic registry function. We are also experimenting with federated querying of the available information in the network. At the same time, we are looking at our present aggregation landscape and discuss roles and responsibilities with all the stakeholders to achieve a more efficient exchange of information with the network. At this moment we are halfway into the programme, in my talk I will share information about our design considerations and our lessons learned so far. I will also show some first results of the projects that are part of our programme for improving the usability of Digital Heritage Network.



Building the Dutch Digital Heritage Network