If you are you interested in exploring the cultural and historical heritage of Greece, SearchCulture.gr is the digital platform that will help you navigate through time in a large number of digital collections. National Documentation Center of Greece (EKT) is the organization running this platform that contains a wide variety of digital resources: archaeological items, historical documents and manuscripts, items of material culture, works of art, cartographic material, books and intangible heritage resources. The digital files that make up the collections are text, sound, image, video, map or digital-born content (eg an interactive game) dating from any chronological period of Greek history and art, from the Mesolithic Period to Modern Greece.
So far, SearchCulture.gr -started in 2015- has amassed more than 430,000 items from 67 collections contributed by 53 institutions which include museums, archives, ephorates of antiquities, municipalities and cultural foundations including the National Gallery, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the Acropolis Restoration Service, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Chania/Crete, Onassis Foundation etc. All items are organized under semantic enrichment techniques to increase searchability, discoverability and multilingualism of the aggregated content by providing new means of search, filtering, browsing and visual presentation of the content. At the same time SearchCulture.gr provides one single point for aggregating all Greek publicly funded digital cultural content offering it up to the public to enjoy and benefit from.
Users can search by entering a word or phrase and by applying combination filters: content type, chronology, historical period, institution and collection. For example users can enter complex questions such as "middle era Byzantine coins", "classical sculptures" or "paintings of post-war era". Users can also choose a type eg "vase" and then, using the result filters, navigate through historical or chronological periods, exploring in this way the evolution of pottery in the history of Greek culture.
Search.gr is part of the European Digital Library Europeana where it contributes more than 320,472 items from 43 collections. Greek items are thus available to a wider European audience gaining important visibility. Europeana developed its portal in 2008 and now it hosts over 50 million digital cultural resources. Europeana has made a significant contribution to the development of a common European consciousness, not only for museums, libraries and archives, but also for citizens and innovation communities. This digital public space creates added value for education, research and tourism.
EKT is the accredited national cultural heritage aggregator providing also preservation infrastructure for Europeana through SearchCulture.gr, setting the quality and interoperability specifications for the organizations wishing to contribute their content to the digital platform.
EKT enriches, homogenizes and organizes the aggregated content by developing vocabularies and advanced data mining and semantic enrichment tools linking this content to global open data systems such as the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the geographical database Geonames, the semantic thesaurus DBpedia of Wikipedia etc.
[Photos: © EKT / National Documentation Center]