The DM2E project at the Austrian National Library

Harnessing the power of Linked Data in order to provide scholarly access to digitised manuscripts and archival items.

Join us on Tuesday ,18 November at the ONB Austrian National Library in Vienna to find out more about the DM2E project and the wider possibilities of scholarly and library (re-)use of Linked Open Data. More information about the agenda and reservations can be found on the DM2E website.

The DM2E (Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana) project is dedicated to making available internationally significant collections of manuscripts, autographs and letters through Europeana, targeting both scholarly as well as general audiences. This rich content is complemented by rare books collections and additional archival items, providing context to the handwritten materials.

A number of project characteristics make DM2E truly stand out. One novel aspect is that DM2E maps the very heterogeneous metadata of its providers to a common representation specified by the DM2E data model which is itself an application profile of the Europeana Data Model (EDM). As its name implies, the EDM is the newest data model used by Europeana and significantly differs from its predecessor in that it is based on Linked Data principles. Some of the advantages of representing metadata as Linked Data are:

  • Being able to semantically augment metadata such as stating if the subject of a work is a person or a place and to provide additional, specifying metadata about these entities; this is not easily achievable with traditional metadata models.
  • The published metadata are freely accessible on the Web, available to everyone.
  • Increased interoperability with other datasets, enabled by interlinking DM2E metadata with other data using common entities.

Indeed, all the metadata provided to DM2E are now an official part of the Linked Open Data Cloud. This means that they are now connected to a huge number of third party datasets through important data hubs such as the GND, DBpedia, Freebase, and Geonames . A little quiz: Are you able to locate DM2E in the LOD-cloud amongst the growing number of freely available Linked Data sets?


Image: Linked Open Data Cloud at

Digital Humanities Research and Engineering

Another distinctive project endeavour deals with tools and best practices for using the power of Linked Data to support (Digital) Humanities scholars in their work.

Not only should the metadata about the content from library providers be made available as Linked Data, but everyone, and in particular Digital Humanities scholars, should also be able to create annotations on the content itself and publish this as Linked Data as well. In this regard, DM2E has been further developing a family of applications around the semantic web annotation tool Pundit, which was initiated by project partner Net7. Using Pundit, scholars can easily augment documents on web pages by creating Linked Dated annotations.


Image: Screenshot of the Pundit annotation environment

These annotations are gathered in notebooks, which can be made private or public; the contents of all public notebooks can be viewed in the Pundit affiliated tool Ask. In addition, the annotations contained in the notebooks can be queried using Ask’s facetted browser and can also be used for powerful data visualisations. Below is an EdgeMap representation from one of the many experiments being carried in the project using the scholarly environment. Here, philosophers’ influences have been mapped on a timeline; the underlying semantic annotations were made by creating annotations that stated when philosophers cited other philosophers in their works.


Image: Pundit Philopher’s Demo using EdgeMap

In addition to developing Semantic Web tools for scholars, DM2E is also doing research on user requirements of such Linked Data applications. For this reason, a further area of the project is concerned with modelling the scholarly domain. Guided by the advice of a distinguished  Digital Humanities Advisory Board, Researchers from DM2E have been endeavouring to identify and elaborate on the functional primitives of the Digital Humanities.

DM2E/OKFN Information Day

For more information about the DM2E project, please visit the project website.  As mentioned above, we would also like to welcome you to our information event organized in collaboration with project partner OKFN on the 18th of November at the Austrian National Library. In this half-day seminar, you will find out more about the mapping of DM2E partner metadata to the Europeana Data Model (EDM), the Open Knowledge Foundation will talk about the value of open data and the OpenGLAM network and we will showcase how some Digital Humanities scholars are using the semantic annotation tools developed in DM2E. In addition, you can also get hands-on experience with Pundit in a workshop organized by Net7.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Authors: Doron Goldfarb and Kristin Dill


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