Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Cultural heritage – Improving access to cultural heritage

Indicator 11.4: Number of objects in the German Digital Library

(Evaluation of the year 2020 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the number of objects in the network of the German Digital Library, or Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (DDB).

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The German Digital Library connects and provides online access in one place to the digital holdings of Germany’s cultural institutions and repositories of learning. It thereby makes them easily accessible, in an up-to-date manner, to scholars and anyone else interested in culture. As such, the indicator is a useful gauge of the extent to which our shared heritage of culture and learning has been rendered digitally accessible in Germany. The goal is to increase the number of objects available via the German Digital Library to 50 million by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-09-09: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The German Digital Library is a platform created to connect the digital holdings of institutions like archives, libraries and museums. It is managed by a network of such repositories of culture and learning from the Federal Government, the Länder and local-authorities, and it is jointly funded by the Federal Government and the Länder. Most of the digital materials are held not by the German Digital Library itself but by partner institutions, while the DDB only hosts links to those objects. The partner institutions are responsible for the stability of the connection. As of May 2020, the number of partner institutions making data available for the German Digital Library had reached 448. The majority are museums or archives – 183 and 174 of them respectively.

The German Digital Library online platform has been accessible since 2012, at which point it hosted links to 5.6 million objects. By the middle of 2020, that number had risen to 33 million. If the trend continues as it has to date, the target of 50 million by 2030 could be achieved. Some of the objects made available by libraries may repeat the same content; for example, two libraries might post links in the German Digital Library to the same edition of a book. In such cases, the two links are counted separately.

Since 2015, it has been possible to differentiate between objects with and without digitised media. For those with digitised content, the German Digital Library link gives direct access to the digitised reproduction of the book, certificate, painting or other object in question. For objects without digitised media, on the other hand, the links lead only to information about them. The link pertaining to a painting, for instance, will provide information about who painted it, what year it is from and where it is kept. Objects with digitised media thus provide a good deal more information than those for which only metadata are made available.

There were 5.4 million objects with digitised media at the end of 2015, rising to 11.3 million by the middle of 2020. Objects with digitised media also increased as a proportion of all the objects linked to in the German Digital Library, rising from around 30% in 2015 to around 34% by mid-2020. At the end of the first half of 2020, the majority of digitised objects available via the Library were texts (60.2%), followed by pictures (33.8%) and other media (5.5%). In contrast, audio and video recordings made up only a very small proportion of digitised Library objects, at 0.4% and 0.1% respectively.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

11.4 Number of objects in the German Digital Library

Target

Increase in the number of objects in the network of the German Digital Library to 50 million by 2030

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

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 Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media

Organisation

Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media