Survey and selection of digital platforms

18 Mar 2020

Last spring, through a questionnaire and follow-up interviews, we found that there are about fifty different digital libraries and other platforms at the faculty. Some of these are publicly accessible and can be viewed in the catalog. Among them you will find digital libraries, language corpora and explanatory dictionaries.

They are usually the output of a project and the problem arises when the project ends and the creators are faced with the question of how to obtain resources to continue developing and operating the system. We would like to help them with this. We are planning a system to ensure the sustainability of the data made available, to link it to more potential users and to bring additional benefits.

Over the past year, we have been selecting which of our existing collections to move into this forthcoming system. A basic prerequisite was the willingness of the creators to work with us. Where this was the case, we took into account the following criteria:

  1. Replaceability: can the new solution maintain the core functions of the original and meet the needs of users?
  2. Feasibility: Will the content be transferable, given any funding and/or copyright obligations?
  3. Technical feasibility: Is the documentation and/or developer of the original system available?
  4. Openness of content: Can the content be made publicly available given its nature? The ideal option is to grant a CC license with minimal restrictions.
  5. Quality of metadata: What metadata is provided, in what format and how complete is it or can it be supplemented?
  6. Usability: How well the content is used - for example, whether it is incorporated into teaching or used internationally.

We do not claim that more of the platforms under consideration do not meet these criteria. Given the time available, we had to select only four:

  • Digital Library of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University: the Digital Library contains digitised publications from the production of the faculty - professional journals, proceedings and other periodicals (e.g. yearbooks), monographic editions, stand-alone monographs and scripts. Teaching texts contained in the library are under the CC BY.NC-ND 3.0 CZ license, most of the currently published journals are freely accessible. The library is managed and developed by the Centre for information technologies.
  • Digital Library of Arne Novák: The aim of the digital library is to make the extensive work of Arne Novák available in one place. Currently, digitised materials from the Central Library's collection (monographs, introductions and afterwords) are included, for which the copyright law allows free access. Plans are underway to add other materials. The library is managed by the Central Library.
  • GISTRALIK: The system contains data on so-called records relating to material and immaterial folk culture in Moravia in the period 1750-1900. Each record is described by at least one term from the glossary, related to a geographical location, associated with a specific time period, and accompanied by information about the source document and its location. The records can be searched and displayed on a map. Some source documents are available in electronic form. The system is a joint project of the Institute of European Ethnology and the Institute of Computer Science.
    • Update (November 2020): There will be no transfer of GISTRALIK, we will continue to cooperate on the level of metadata transfer.
  • Cinematic Brno 1918-1945: The online database contains information about filmmakers, films, film programmes, cinemas and interviews with contemporary witnesses related to film culture in Brno between 1918-1945. It is managed by the Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture.

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