The new portal www.SearchCulture.gr, developed and maintained by EKT, offers central access to and single search of digital cultural content of more than 160,000 documents from 55 collections of 43 respected institutions. With a user-friendly interface it provides advanced search capabilities, advanced navigation features and attractive presentation of content which is constantly being enriched with material from new sources.
The site enables institutions to increase the searchability of their content, enhance the value of their documentation and ensure the optimal conditions for reuse. In addition, Greek cultural heritage is internationally promoted as cultural content is fed to recognised international cultural platforms such as the European digital library Europeana.
SearchCulture.gr not only hosts thousands of items from a substantial number of the country’s cultural institutions, including museums, archives, ephorates of antiquities, municipalities, cultural organisations etc, but also has links to cultural institution websites giving access to their digital archives. Creative Commons and other similar licences are used in making metadata openly available while the availability of digital content depends on the licences used by each institution.
Content from 130 homogenized item types such as engravings, mosaics, sculpture, inscriptions, vases, needlework and manuscripts can quickly be found. English speaking users can use the English version of this site even if the metadata was originally in Greek.
With its advanced search capabilities and results filtering covering a wide range of fields, users can locate and filter what they are searching for more easily. Information includes: the homogenised item type, the original type, the subject category, user licence, the Europeana type and the collection.
In addition to being a valuable tool for research purposes, primary sources found on SearchCulture.gr can be used to enrich the education process. Educators and parents can find cultural content which illustrates the main events in Greek history. Apart from a rich archeological content, there are 118 works of art on the Greek Revolution by artists of the so-called Munich School, including Nicholas Gizi and Theodoros Vryzakis, from the National Art Gallery – Alexander Soutzos Museum. If someone is interested in learning more about 19th century paintings depicting scenes of everyday life such as ‘The Kiss’ by Nikiforos Lytras, or ‘First Steps’ and ‘Cold Shower’ by George Jacobidos, all they have to do is select a topic and filter the results.
They can also find contemporary works of art from the 20th century as well as a selection of cultural study material from classical times to the 20th century.
There is a large number of folklore items, including the clothing and personal items of historical figures, like the ‘selachliki’ ( a wide belt with a pocket across the front to hold gun powder and bullets ) that belonged to Kolokotronis.
The portal has been developed by EKT as part of ESPA’s ‘Digital Convergence’ project. The aim is to use modern technology and infrastructures to showcase and preserve major digitisation projects, publicly and privately funded, for the benefit of the wider community.
The portal aggregates metadata content of various types, and through the single search the user is guided to the digital or digitized content of cultural institutions. This content is subject to quality controls and semantic enrichment (semantics.gr) to ensure its full compliance with interoperability, metadata description, type, digital content editing, while for its dissemination and exploitation international policies are implemented.
Users can explore the content of SearchCulture.gr using a hierarchical classification of items. The content is enriched with references using a bilingual hierarchical vocabulary of types in order to classify it into a compact and balanced set of types to give it semantic cohesion and improve its searchability, presentation and multilinguism.
Institutions whose metadata is integrated into SearchCulture.gr guarantee lasting international visibility and promotion of their cultural wealth which, in turn, is integrated into the national and international environment of digital culture.
The Unified Search Service SearchCulture.gr was implemented by the National Documentation Centre under the project "A Platform for the Deposit, Management and Delivery of Open Metadata and Digital Content" within the Operational Programme "Digital Convergence" (NSFR), which is co-funded by Greece and the European Union-European Regional Development Fund.