2 National Databases for the movable Cultural Heritage

Two major databases containing information about the movable cultural heritage of Denmark have a web presence.

Art Index Denmark is the central record for art in museums and collections. The register was founded in 1985 and stores information on close to 40.000 object of art. The website of Art Index Denmark also hosts Weilbach's Encyclodedia of Danish artists or foreign artists with a connection to Denmark. Around 8.000 artists and architects are listed. The museums report new acquisitions or transfers of art to the Heritage Agency, who is administering the Art Index. Weilbach is maintained by the Library of the Academy of Arts.

The online resource known as The Museums' Collections consists of the registrations of 20 museums. There are search facilities for object type, category, period and area. Later this year (2005) the web resource will appear in a revised version including collections from around 100 museums and within few years the collections of all 150 Danish registered museums will be accessible through the portal. Recently REGIN - a new system for registration of art and artefact data - was introduced. REGIN is an online system, where data are hosted centrally at the National Heritage Agency, but data entry and editing are performed online by the individual museums making REGIN a central system for decentralized recording. REGIN is the key data provider for The Museums' Collections. During the last year a major conversion of data from an older now abandoned recording system has taken place with data imported into REGIN and The Museums' Collections. A new initiative is a central supported scanning and OCR recognition of standardised paper based records held at a number of museums. Out of the estimated 2 million records available in Danish museums 500.000 will be scanned this year and data imported into REGIN. This is the first major initiative to secure retro conversion of local information from analogue to digital format and making it accessible at the national level.

REGIN is the first of the national databases which are developed based on open standards and open source and introducing decentralised online recording using the internet as the framework as a result of a new strategy for the National Heritage Agency. During the next years the remaining national databases for art, architecture and culture history will be upgraded to this new technical and logical platform.

Danish Museums online provide information about all the registered museums in Denmark. Not only the basic information such as location and opening hours, but in many cases also offering a virtual tour of the museum. Each museum is responsible for updating its own section of the database.

Art Index Denmark, Danish Museums Online and The Museums' Collections all have unrestricted access, while the REGIN system is restricted to professional users.

During the next couple of years Art Index Denmark, REGIN, The Museums' Collections and Danish Museums online will merged into one integrated web based central system for decentralised recording and presentation. The system will at the same time provide the national overview of the movable heritage collections held by the Danish museums.


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