CultuurLINK: Connecting Cultural Heritage

Previous year's Nominees

CultuurLINK supports the process of finding links between data sources. It has been developed by Spinque, a company specialised in advanced search technology. CultuurLINK enables users to create and maintain links between resources in an effective way by combining fast automatic comparison techniques with manual control. With the application the user defines step-by-step how to find links between the resources from two different data sources. The result is a link strategy that not only generates the links, but also provides the provenance and can be reused for updated or different datasets. While the underlying Spinque LINK technology can be applied in various industries and for various problems, this submission focuses on the open service that Spinque has created together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision for the Cultural Heritage sector.

CultuurLINK has been developed to support the cultural heritage community with the alignment of their vocabularies, and is available at With CultuurLINK collection administrators link their terminology resources to large thesauri that are authoritative for the community. Based on their current sources, they can now gain access to external data that enrich their own collections by, for example, additional background information or multilingual descriptions. While the service was publicised only to Dutch institutions, it has already attracted attention from various institutes around the globe.

CultuurLINK has already been used by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies to link their subject terms to a large audio visual thesaurus (GTAA) from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The resulting links connect, among other things, a collection of Dutch historic newsreels with photographic collections of the NIOD. An application developed on top of this data can now suggest related photographs to someone watching a news item (

Also, the linking of vocabularies creates opportunities for new services and applications for museums. An initial prototype demonstrates how links to DBpedia expose the collection of the Rijksmuseum in new and broader perspectives. For instance, the collection can now be searched in multiple languages, and connects ‘La Lechera’ to Vermeer’s Milkmaid ( The Rijksmuseum staff now actively uses CultuurLINK to link their terminology resources to international databases.



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