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Under the banner of ‘Open Knowledge!’, exclamation mark included, the library has been working hard to reach our ambition of publishing our collections and their metadata open and online. With the infrastructure in place, we are pleased to announce that a sizable part of our collection metadata is now publicly available as open data, with more to come.

Foto: Deb Beatty Mel (Flickr cc)

The library is working to make our collections and the associated bibliographical metadata available to the public, under the motto ‘Open Data’. We aim to go further and publish as ‘Linked Open Usable Data’, also known as LOUD. In this context, Linked means that the data sources are not unrelated bits of knowledge, but can be linked to create new combinations. Usable stands for being well-documented, therefore the open data is published with extensive documentation describing which sources are available, how they can be accessed and under which restrictions, if any, they can be used.

We’ve started with a part of the collection in our central library system. Other collections are to follow in the coming months. Currently, descriptions of maps, letters, incunabula, images, audio and video items are available as data sets. A researcher or developer can download the full set, but it is also possible to combine objects with data from other online sources. This is the real power of ‘linked open data’, enabling new forms of research. On 25 June, together with Baden State Museum we’ll be holding a first hackathon on opening up museal collections with open data and artificial intelligence. We are looking forward to the results from this event, as well as what scholars will further do with this data.