Joint project of the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) – “ZEDIKUM – Zentrum für digitale Kulturgüter in Museen” (Centre for digital cultural assets in museums)

The Zentrum für Digitale Kulturgüter in Museen (ZEDIKUM), initiated and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (since 1 June, 2018 coordinated by Prof. Dr. Andreas Bienert), is a central, interdisciplinary research, infrastructure, and service facility in the area of Digital Humanites, which supports the archaeological museum collections on Berlin’s Museumsinsel (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Collection of Classical Antiquities, Museum for Islamic Art, Museum of Prehistory and Early History, and Museum of the Ancient Near East). With over one million archaeological objects from 500 centuries, this unique group of collections is one of the largest repositories of mankind’s cultural assets in the world.

The museum buildings which house them (Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Pergamonmuseum) are all major components of the Museumsinsel UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer an unparalleled space for encountering the full spectrum of cultural artefacts from early human history. Their important status brings with it not only great social and cultural-political responsibilities, but also particular challenges related not only to documenting and curating these archaeological objects and submitting them to scholarly research, but also to making them fully accessible to the public in the museum setting. This is particularly relevant in the context of the ongoing redesign and restructuring of the permanent exhibition in the Pergamonmuseum, which will take at least until 2025 to complete.

Against this background, the overarching goals of ZEDIKUM are the ongoing public provision of 3D-object data and, building on this, the development of web-based investigation and research tools for producing and storing new knowledge related to the object-based, digital research of cultural assets and the development of mobile, web-based digital end-use applications for the presentation and communication of research on archaeological objects in the museum. At the same time, on the basis of up-to-date research results in the various key areas of scholarly investigation, and taking into account recommended best-practice solutions and defined standards for the implementation of information technology, concrete recommendations can be derived for developing online repositories for 3D-object data, particularly for archaeological museums, which will continue to be usable in the long term. In view of the massive threat to archaeological cultural assets all over the world, ZEDIKUM will also contribute to the development of mobile, cost-effective, 3D scanning methods for use in crisis situations.

Project Director: Dr. Markus Hilgert, since 2018 Prof. Dr. Andreas Bienert
Funding / Project partner: ZEDICUM is financed from funds provided by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media.