Kim H. Veltman

E-Culture Net Thematic Network (2002-2003)

Published in Digicult, London, August 2003.

1. Introduction
2. Creation of Website (
3. Distributed European Electronic Resource (DEER)
4. Development of DACO (Distributed Autonomous Cultural Object) protocol
5. Demonstration of DACO protocol
6. Broadband Demo
7. Broadband Pilots
8. Criteria/Topics for European Masters and Doctorates
9. Demo of Research Matrices and Research Topics
10. National Networks
11. Written Agreements
12. Permanent Home
13. Proposal for FP6
14. Further Steps

1. Introduction

This article provides a short description of the main outcomes of E-Culture Net. Subsequent articles will provide detailed versions of some of the main reports produced by members of the thematic network.

E-Culture Net (IST-2001-37491) began on 1 July 2002 as a one-year thematic network and resulted in twelve outcomes: 1) website with definition of vision, structure, expansion; 2) first steps towards Distributed European Electronic Resource (DEER) including scenarios for interfaces; 3) development of DACO protocol for access to local databases; 4) demonstration of protocol; 5) broadband demo; 6) definition of broadband pilots; 7) criteria and topics for European Masters and Doctorates; 8) demo of research matrices and research topics; 9) development of first national networks; 10) written agreements with number of partners; 11) permanent home in the new European University of Culture (Strasbourg) and 12) submission of proposal to become an NoE in FP6. Each of these will be described briefly:

2. Creation of Website (

The vision is to provide access to Europe’s cultural heritage through co-ordination of networks and develop a Distributed European Electronic Resource (DEER) through a grid for culture; to use the DEER to develop critical methods and thought via European Masters and Doctorates; and to keep it up to date through research matrices to understand the digital knowledge production life-cycle and generate new research topics.

Newly Accessed States (NAS) and Beyond

Gerhard Budin (Vienna) identified NAS partners. Giorgio Giannoulis and Tonia Zervaki (Foundation of the Hellenic World, Athens) identified Mediterranean partners especially via the Medina Network. In Russia, thanks to the work of Nadezhda Brakker (Centre PIC, Moscow), 23 institutions signed letters of intent and A2 forms to join the NoE.

Specialised Networks

E-Culture Net has taken up afresh the idea of a Network of Networks, introduced in 1989 by UNESCO through Culture Link1 (Network of Networks for Research and Cooperation in Cultural Development) and CIRCLE (Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe).2 Whereas the earlier effort was limited to a loose connection through a website with addresses, E-Culture Net foresees a more systematic co-operation by involving existing specialised networks in specific elements of the DEER vision. By joining these smaller networks in a common task, E-Culture Net achieves a new critical mass; at the same time it brings into new light (valorising, in the language of Brussels) various excellent achievements such as the Inventaire, which were previously often unknown beyond their country of origin. Among the networks formally included to date are ERPANET, C2RMF, NEHRN, SCRAN, ORION and SIMILAR. Specialised networks such as the European Network for Ethnological Archives (Réseau Européen des Archives Ethnographiques) and GLEN (Greek and Latin Epigraphy Network) are in the process of joining. Provisional links with MINERVA have been discussed.

International Networks

In addition, a series of links with UNESCO and with other cultural networks have been initiated and strengthened. Here the efforts of Frederic Andres (Laval and NII) have been extremely helpful. These networks include:

Canada - Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
China - Chinese Cultural Heritage Network (CCHN)
Japan - Asian Network of Excellence on Digital Silk Roads (ANoEDSR)
Russia - Russian Cultural Heritage Network (RCHN)
United States - Nat. Sc. Foundation Digital Silk Roads Cultural Grid (NSF DSRCG)
World - UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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