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Addressing the different levels of scale, complexity, sophistication and objectives, QUEST
distinguishes between cultural gateways and cultural networks (QUEST, 2000: p. 33):
Cultural gateways are defined as "centrally co-ordinated web-based gateways which
offer access to accredited web sites with limited original content or other resources
available at the gateway site. One example for a cultural gateway is KulturNet
Denmark, which serves as a case study later in this chapter.
Cultural networks, on the other hand, are "centrally co-ordinated networks of
digitised resources collated from a number of participating organisations all directly
accessible through the central portal. It allows `deep linkage' and searching across a
number of sites."
The main difference between the gateways and networks, is on the side, the resources
necessary to set up and maintain those services, and on the other side, the level of
complexity.While cultural gateways can be set up and run with relatively little investment,
cultural networks are fully integrated services that initially demand large investments to
build up a critical mass of digital material to be offered on the network.The following
figure provides an overview of the different models of national access points to culture and
gives examples for each model.
Are centrally co-ordinated "networks" of digitised
cultural artefacts, collated from a number of
participating organisations, all directly accessible.
Provide "deep linkage" and e-learning facilities.
High Level Comlexity Cultural Networks
Medium Level Complexity Cultural Networks
Low-Medium Level Complexity Cultural Networks
Low Level Complexity Cultural Networks
Offer a significant amount of cultural content
that is not fully integrated in the portal, i.e. at a
certain level users need to leave it and access the
website of the content owner.
Offer a central access point to a selection of
institutional websites as well as own content and
features: news, articles, bulletin board, discussion
groups etc. Do not offer cultural heritage resources
(e.g. digital images) but refer to it.
Serve as central access points to a selection of
institutional website, i.e. provide a search engine
or link lists and serve as jump-page. Offer no or
only very limited own content.
el of c
Source: Salzburg Research, 2001
Scottish Cultural Resources
Network (SCRAN)
Picture Australia
CultureNet Norway
24Hour Museum, UK
L'Internet Culturel, France
CultureNet Canada
Access Points to Cultural Heritage