Beni Culturali

Una Biblioteca Digitale Semantica per il Comune di Milano


In the second half of 2007 the Municipality of Milan decided to co-finance a one year project, proposed by CILEA, called “Biblioteca Aperta di Milano” (Milan Open Library) or BAMI, aimed at creating an integrated system to make available on the Web a set of digitized documents from the cultural institutions of Milan. The project led to the creation of one of the first Semantic Digital Library in Italy. To meet the goals of the project, indeed, we adopted Semantic Web standards and technologies to build the knowledge base and used a faceted browser for the user interface. To store and provide the visualisation of digital documents we used two different applications: CodeX[ml] and AriannaWeb. Regarding the selection of content, we decided to focus mainly on the documents that belong to a specific branch of the city's cultural heritage: those from 19th century, giving special attention to musical documents. In this paper we present the methodology and the workflow that led us to build an ontology with the aid of a Scientific committee of librarians and 19th century music's experts. We also illustrate the building of a dedicated web-based editor that we used to populate the ontology. One of the most important objectives of the project was to overcome the limitations of the search engines traditionally used in the librarian domain by providing the users with new tools for browsing and analysing cultural knowledge. Thus the paper also focuses on the BAMI User Interface, which was built by extending and enhancing Longwell, a faceted RDF browser developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Semantic Web, Digital Library, Faceted Browsing, Ontology

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