Aggregation of linked data in the cultural heritage domain: A case study in the Europeana network

Nuno Freire*, René Voorburg, Roland Cornelissen, Sjors de Valk, Enno Meijers, Antoine Isaac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Online cultural heritage resources are widely available through digital libraries maintained by numerous organizations. In order to improve discoverability in cultural heritage, the typical approach is metadata aggregation, a method where centralized efforts such as Europeana improve the discoverability by collecting resource metadata. The redefinition of the traditional data models for cultural heritage resources into data models based on semantic technology has been a major activity of the cultural heritage community. Yet, linked data may bring new innovation opportunities for cultural heritage metadata aggregation. We present the outcomes of a case study that we conducted within the Europeana cultural heritage network. In this study, the National Library of The Netherlands contributed by providing the role of data provider, while the Dutch Digital Heritage Network contributed as an intermediary aggregator that aggregates datasets and provides them to Europeana, the central aggregator. We identified and analyzed the requirements for an aggregation solution for the linked data, guided by current aggregation practices of the Europeana network. These requirements guided the definition of a workflow that fulfils the same functional requirements as the existing one. The workflow was put into practice within this study and has led to the development of software applications for administrating datasets, crawling the web of data, harvesting linked data, data analysis and data integration. We present our analysis of the study outcomes and analyze the effort necessary, in terms of technology adoption, to establish a linked data approach, from the point of view of both data providers and aggregators. We also present the expertise requirements we identified for cultural heritage data analysts, as well as determining which supporting tools were required to be designed specifically for semantic data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number252
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Early online date30 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Big Data variety
  • Data aggregation
  • Data analysis
  • Datasets
  • RDF
  • Semantics


Dive into the research topics of 'Aggregation of linked data in the cultural heritage domain: A case study in the Europeana network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this