Exploring digital cultural heritage through browsing

Hall, Mark M. and Walsh, David (2022). Exploring digital cultural heritage through browsing. In: Golub, Koraljka and Liu, Ying-Hsang eds. Information and Knowledge Organisation in Digital Humanities: Global Perspectives. Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities. London: Routledge, pp. 261–284.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003131816-13


Digitisation of our cultural heritage has created vast digital archives, many of which are publicly accessible via the web. However, publicly accessible does not necessarily mean that the content of the collection is truly accessible to the wider public. The reason for this is that the standard interface for accessing the collections is the search box. This is very effective for experienced users who have the information seeking skills and domain knowledge to formulate appropriate queries, but for the less knowledgeable users the white search box represents a significant hurdle. This group of users require a generous interface that provides them with an overview over the collection and the ability to explore it, without having to explicitly enter a search keyword. In this chapter we discuss a range of existing approaches that have been used to provide less knowledgeable users with such interfaces and then present the Digital Museum Map, an algorithm and interface for automatically generating a virtual museum interface for an unstructured collection, that can then be explored by browsing through the virtual museum.

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