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Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek


Making cultural assets freely accessible in digital form - that is the primary objective of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library - DDB). These assets range from books, pictures and sculptures through to archival documents, including music and other sound recordings, films, sheet music and monuments. As the central national portal the DDB will eventually link up the digital services provided by all cultural and scientific institutions in Germany in order to grant all interested parties access to the nation's cultural heritage.

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek is aimed at a range of different target groups. These include the culturally-interested general public, the fields of academia (especially the arts and humanities) and education (students and teaching staff from all educational institutions), and the cultural institutions with which the DDB has set up a network for exchanging views on digitisation and providing related services.

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek provides professionally processed materials. It supplies reliable information from German cultural and academic institutions. The process of digitising the German cultural memory is expected to take many years. The first externer linkversion of the portal, which is now available to the public, gives an impression of the possibilities offered by the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. The functions and the documented holdings will be continually expanded even after the conclusion of the beta phase in March 2014.

Besides its function as an access point, the DDB also constitutes a data hub which acts as a national aggregator for the European digital library, the externer linkEuropeana, and also makes the data available for re-use in other contexts via open interfaces. The metadata provided under CC0 licence conditions and all functions of the DDB backend can be used via a public externer linkapplication programming interface (API).

Organisational structure and partners

Logo "Member of Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek"

The DDB is currently supported by a competence network consisting of 13 cultural and academic institutions. These include:

  •  AufzählungBayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB)
  •  AufzählungBibliotheksservicezentrum Baden-Württemberg (BSZ)
  •  AufzählungBrandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum (BLDAM)
  •  AufzählungBundesarchiv
  •  AufzählungDeutsches Filminstitut (DIF)
  •  AufzählungDeutsche Nationalbibliothek (German National Library - DNB)
  •  AufzählungdigiCULT-Verbund eG
  •  AufzählungDigitales Kunst- und Kulturarchiv Düsseldorf (d:kult)
  •  AufzählungLandesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (LABW)
  •  AufzählungMax-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (MPIWG)
  •  AufzählungNiedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen (SUB)
  •  AufzählungSächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden (SLUB)
  •  AufzählungStiftung Historische Museen Hamburg, in particular digiCult-Verbund eG
  •  AufzählungStiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SPK)

This network integrates skills and interests from different cultural and academic fields in Germany into the project.

The supervisory board of the DDB is a committee of representatives from federal, state and local bodies. The general meeting of the competence network elects the management board of the DDB.

The head office of the DDB is located at the headquarters of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek has assumed the role of externer linkcoordinator of the competence network, making it responsible above all for overall project management. The externer linkDDB service centre is also housed at the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. It serves as the main point of contact for cultural and academic institutions wishing to contribute their digital holdings to the DDB.

Length of project, funding

On the basis of a framework paper, the state (Conference of Prime Ministers from 28 to 30 October 2009) and federal (cabinet meeting on 2 December 2009) governments approved the plans and had an administrative agreement drawn up which guarantees annual funding of EUR 2.6 million for operating the German Digital Library until the year 2015. Following an interim assessment which was carried out in spring 2014, decisions are to be made on the continuation of the project, its funding and the future legal and organisational structure of the DDB.

In 2010 and 2011 the federal government injected EUR 8 million of Konjunkturprogramm II funds for the necessary infrastructure; this was supplemented by special federal and state funds totalling EUR 1.3 million in 2013.

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General questions regarding the competence network can be addressed to

Last update: 23.07.2014

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