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Museum portal
languages 7 (German, English, Hungarian, Italian, Indonesian, Polish, Portuguese)
user 603 museums (Germany), 90 museums (Hungary), 1 museum (Indonesia)
programming language PHP , CSS
On-line 2009

museum-digital is a project by museums for the joint digital publication and, increasingly, inventory of museum data. With over 320,000 publicly available objects in Germany and over 149,000 objects in Hungary, the project focuses on these countries.


Museum-digital gives museums the opportunity to show information about museum objects on the Internet. The platform shows both text and image information on the museum objects. Both information sources together form the digitized version of an object, these are freely and unrestrictedly accessible. Further use of the information provided is possible - in accordance with the legal labeling.

The use of controlled vocabulary , thesauri and specialist vocabulary ensures the high quality of the search results - even across different museum-digital instances . Separate databases with controlled vocabularies exist for the primary languages ​​of the international bodies.

Museums from different parts of Germany have come together through their respective regional museum associations or initiatives to form their own instances of museum-digital. These regional authorities can then be searched jointly via a national authority.

Every museum is free to make the digitized exhibits of its house available via the internet platforms europeana or Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek . If desired, these investments can also be coordinated centrally by museum-digital.

The reason for the development of the export functions was the Access to cultural heritage networks across Europe (ATHENA) project and the subsequent European aggregation projects for museum data. So far, more than 14,000 museum-digital objects europeana have been made available in this way.


The project began in 2009 on the initiative of the Digitalization Working Group of the Saxony-Anhalt Museum Association.

Further regional museum-digital instances were created by October 2016 . International (Brazil, Indonesia and Hungary) as well as md: agrargeschichte, a thematic instance of museum-digital, have also been added.

The project is supported by the Berlin Institute for Museum Research . 603 German museums are currently participating in museum-digital, from which over 320,000 exhibits have already been presented. More than 45,000 of these items come from museums in Saxony-Anhalt . This made it possible for small institutions to participate directly in setting up the database. Right from the start it was of central importance that the museums retain complete control over the content posted online. Each museum can independently deactivate and update its data at any time and export it for its own purposes in museum-digital or in LIDO - XML ​​format. Only free software is used for this.

In Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate , the development of the museum-digital state portals was supported by funds from the respective states.


The various parts of museum-digital were and are programmed in PHP and JavaScript with the help of MySQL databases. In order to meet the requirements of internationally available and used software, all sub-projects are multilingual and available in at least German and English.

Conceptually innovative technical developments, such as the quality assurance tool PuQi or the overview pages for relationships between people based on the data obtained from museum objects, are carried back into the scientific debate via articles and lectures.

The technical development of museum-digital takes place separately in two main and several side projects.

Main projects

The output module from museum-digital

The output module represents the primary public side of the individual instances of museum-digital. With a focus on the publication of objects, the data of the museums is published here. While the program was initially limited to the presentation of object, museum and collection data, it now also offers options for publishing and linking exhibitions, object groups and events in the museum.


musdb is the input module from museum-digital. While it initially focused on the collection of data for the publication of museum objects, in accordance with the original object objective, today it offers many inventory functions, such as the recording of the restoration status of objects or loan transactions.

Side projects

Thematic module

The theme module of museum-digital offers the possibility to record theme pages and digital exhibitions that are primarily geared towards a continuous and structured narrative. Objects from the various instances of museum-digital can be linked to the individual sections of this story or individual sub-themes.

nodac and md: term

nodac is the program with which the controlled vocabularies of museum-digital are processed. md: term offers a public interface to view the controlled vocabularies. The controlled vocabularies are made available to the public in machine-readable form via JSON and SKOS interfaces.


In the manual , the project participants collect information on the history and functionality of museum-digital.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. First data export to europeana (July 10, 2010)
  2. 14,000 museum-digital objects europeana (October 10, 2016)
  3. museum digital instances
  4. Brazil
  5. Indonesia
  6. md: hu:: The Hungarian instance of museum-digital.
  7. See website museum-digital (January 5, 2019)
  8. Statistics museum-digital Saxony-Anhalt (October 10, 2016)
  9. Information on museum-digital at (January 5, 2019)
  10. Ministry promotes optimization of the portal (June 22, 2010)
  11. Humans.txt file from museum-digital
  12. ^ Stefan Rohde-Enslin: PuQI - A Smart Way to Create Better Data . In: Uncommon Culture . tape 6 , no. 2 , 2015.
  13. Joshua Ramon Enslin: Grasping Historical People's Relationships: Let the Objects Speak . In: Uncommon Culture . tape 7 , no. 1/2 , 2018, p. 118-125 .