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International Journal on Digital Libraries

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 353–366 | Cite as

Promoting user engagement with digital cultural heritage collections

  • Maristella Agosti
  • Nicola Orio
  • Chiara Ponchia
Article

Abstract

In the context of cooperating in a project whose central aim has been the production of a corpus agnostic research environment supporting access to and exploitation of digital cultural heritage collections, we have worked towards promoting user engagement with the collections. The aim of this paper is to present the methods and the solutions that have been envisaged and implemented to engage a diversified range of users with digital collections. Innovative solutions to stimulate and enhance user engagement have been achieved through a sustained and broad-based involvement of different cohorts of users. In particular, we propose the use of narratives to support and guide users within the collection and present them the main available tools. In moving beyond the specialized, search-based and stereotyped norm, the environment that we have contributed to developing offers a new approach for accessing and interacting with cultural heritage collections. It shows the value of an adaptive interface that dynamically responds to support the user, whatever his or her level of experience with digital environments or familiarity with the content may be.

Keywords

User engagement Digital cultural heritage collections CULTURA project User studies Evaluation Narratives 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are most grateful to Alexander Cormack for the thorough linguistic revision. The work reported has been partially supported by the CULTURA project, as part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission, Area “Digital Libraries and Digital Preservation” (ICT-2009.4.1), Grant Agreement No. 269973. The authors would like to thank the CULTURA partners for the useful discussions on many aspects related to user engagement with cultural heritage collections.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Cultural HeritageUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly

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