GOTHA.digital brings together digital objects and data from five Gotha institutions: the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt, the Friedenstein Castle Foundation Gotha and the Thuringian State Archives – Gotha State Archives, as well as the Gotha Research Centre and Centre for Transcultural Studies / Perthes Collection of the University of Erfurt.
GOTHA.digital is a milestone for the visibility, worldwide accessibility and research of the Gotha collections in the context of the digital transformation of science and culture. GOTHA.digital allows the networking of data and opens up numerous usage scenarios in the field of digital humanities, for example text and data mining, network analyses or information visualizations.
In GOTHA.digital, 2.4 million data sets and 1.7 million scans of manuscripts, printed works, maps, archival materials and museum objects are currently usable. The portal presents the online collection of the Friedenstein Castle Foundation Gotha and contains data from eight national and supra-regional databases, in which the Gotha Research Library of the University of Erfurt and the Thuringian State Archives – Gotha State Archives catalog and digitize their objects.
GOTHA.digital enables cross-collection and cross-institutional searches for digital objects whose valuable originals have been collected on Friedenstein since the founding of the ducal house of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg in 1647 and are now distributed throughout Gotha and supervised by various institutions. The metaportal supports cross-collection work: For example, in addition to the digital copies of historical originals, users can find further literature on a topic, a personality, or a provenance from the large collection of books at the Gotha Research Library and the Erfurt University Library, as well as information on ongoing or completed projects at the Friedenstein institutions.
GOTHA.digital enables curated insights into the collection, for example via an integrated digital exhibition platform. As an example of collection contexts, the partners have developed a storytelling application under the title "Coined History – The Gotha Numismatic Collection". Here, interested visitors can immerse themselves in the eventful history of the "Münzkabinett" and explore historical coin knowledge and today's methods of coin indexing and digitization.
GOTHA.digital was initiated by the Gotha Research Library and generously funded by the Thuringian Ministry for Economis Affairs, Science and Digital Society. The portal is the result of three years of intensive and trustful cooperation between the institutions from Gotha and the technical partners, the Thuringian University and State Library Jena and the "Verbundzentrale des Gemeinsamen Bibliotheksverbundes", Göttingen.
With its open and modular infrastructure, GOTHA.digital is part of the dynamic digital developments in the field of cultural heritage and sciences. It uses state-of-the-art search engine and presentation technology. The portal sees itself as an engine and experimental laboratory for the digital transformation of culture and science in the state of Thuringia. GOTHA.digital enables social participation. In the future, it will offer space for creative, unconventional experiments with data and invites interested citizen scientists to help shape Thuringia's virtual cultural space, for example in the context of citizen science projects.
GOTHA.digital is constantly being expanded with digitized material, metadata, information and collection presentations created in the projects of the participating institutions and in the "Gotha transdigital" project of the Friedenstein Castle Gotha Foundation, which is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Thuringian State Chancellery. The Thuringian University and State Library in Jena helped develop the technical concept of Gotha.digital and, as the state digitization center for the cultural sector in Thuringia, ensures permanent system support as well as storage and long-term archiving of the digital data and diverse digitized material from the various subportals. In a next major step, Gotha.digital is to be expanded into an integrated research platform.
Read also our contribution in the blog of the Gotha Research Library (in German only).