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Elevating natural history museums cultural collections to the linked data cloud

Skevakis Giannis, Makris Konstantinos, Arapi Polyxeni, Christodoulakis Stavros

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Year 2013
Type of Item Conference Full Paper
Bibliographic Citation G. Skevakis, K. Makris, P. Arapi and S. Christodoulakis, "Elevating natural history museums' cultural collections to the linked data cloud", in 3rd International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives (SDA), in conjunction with the 17th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries, 2013, pp. 40-51.
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An impressive abundance of high quality scientific content about Natural History and Biodiversity is produced in a distributed, open fashion by Natural History Museums (NHMs) using their own established standards and best practices. Managing publication of such richness and variety of content on the Web, and also supporting distributed, interoperable content creation processes, poses challenges that traditional publication approaches are not adequate to meet. The Natural Europe project offers a coordinated solution to those challenges at European level that aims to improve the availability, discoverability and relevance of environmental cultural content for education and life-long learning use, in a multilingual and multicultural context. Cultural heritage content is collected from six Natural History Museums around Europe into a federation of European Natural History Digital Libraries that is directly connected with Europeana. In this paper we present the architecture of the semantic infrastructure developed for the transition of the Natural Europe federation of NHMs’ cultural repositories to the Semantic Web, as well as the methodology followed for ingesting and converting the NHMs’ cultural heritage metadata into Linked Data.