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portrait of Anders Lindeberg-Lindvet

Anders Lindeberg-Lindvet

Curator , Tekniska museet

portrait of Larissa Borck

Larissa Borck

Swedish National Heritage Board

Industrial heritage and open licensing at the Tekniska museet

The Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, or Tekniska museet, was one of the first cultural heritage institutions in Sweden to share their data through their national aggregator, and today, more than 128,000 of their objects are available on Europeana Collections. In this guest post, Larissa Borck of the Swedish National Heritage Board interviews Anders Lindeberg-Lindvet, curator at the Tekniska museet, to talk about the importance of openly-licensed content and contributing to Europeana’s Industrial Heritage collection and Europe at Work season. 

Tekniska museet has been providing their data to Europeana Collections via SOCH (the Swedish National Aggregator) since 2009. Why is it important for you to continue sharing your collections on a European platform?

Our experience has been very positive. When we migrated to another database system and created new principles for our data in 2016, our colleagues at Europeana were very helpful in changing our data sets, and this year, we decided to make even more of our material digitally available. Above all, we recognise that through Europeana, our images have a wider reach across Europe. 

Tekniska museet has contributed the largest collection of objects to Europeana’s Industrial Heritage collection, and been involved in their Europe at Work season. What was the importance of this for your institution?

Our mission is that the collections and cultural heritage material that we manage reach as many people as possible. As ‘Europe at Work’ and the thematic collection help people to find relevant data, it is positive for us that our collections have been so prominent in these initiatives. Tekniska museet is also active in the Swedish Industrial Heritage Association and ArbetSam, and we see possibilities for so many other museums of work and industrial heritage in Sweden. As the Swedish central museum for technical and industrial history, we engage with the sector to preserve cultural heritage and make it accessible. We encourage smaller working life museums to use resources such as Europeana to find images, objects and information.

All of your objects are openly licensed - 60% as public domain and 40% as CC BY. Why has Tekniska museet decided to use open rights statements?

We agreed in our digitisation plan in 2016 that we should make our data licensing as open as possible. As the copyright has expired on many of our images, we decided to publish them as public domain. The museum’s own images taken by staff members or our photographers after 1969 are marked as CC BY. The museum’s main purpose is to collect and communicate our knowledge – we have to show our collections in all possible ways. Digital technology gives us a wider reach, so we want our objects to be openly licensed. 

What are the biggest challenges that the Tekniska museet experiences when sharing data? 

Some of the challenges lie in database structures. Swedish is not a widely-used language and most of our information is in Swedish only. If our database allowed for language tagging, our collections could become relevant, and our images and objects more accessible at a European level. Aggregation of data from our database to SOCH and then to Europeana presents some other challenges due to limitations and backlog. However, we are also working towards creating standards for our metadata and are active in Swedish initiatives such as Digisam. Tekniska museet takes part in various working groups started by Digisam because we want to be part of discussions on topics such as shared metadata standards or principles for digitisation and long-term storage.

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