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Join the portal

CulturaItalia is an ever-growing collaborative network of public and private institutions.

The participant-driven project is intended to bring together various players in the fields of Italian cultural production and access, partners who will be able to contribute to the development of the portal and thus to improve the visibility of their contents and initiatives on a national and international level.

Museums, archives, libraries and other cultural entities both public and private can participate by making contents organised into databases available, or by sending news regarding initiatives, organisations and activities.

The resources can be in text, audio, image or video format, and must be germane to the thematic channels, and to those representing initiatives, persons, places and cultural heritage items from sources all over the Italian territory.


Method of participation for content providers



The content provider can participate in CulturaItalia by making available the metadata that describe the resources of its databases.

CulturaItalia manages a catalog – Index – which gathers and indexes the information provided by the partners, by means of metadata. The original data will remain on the website of the provider, to which the user is guided, via link, for a complete consultation. For example, in the case of a photograph in the Index, the preview image (thumbnail) is visible along with identifying data and a link to the provider s website, where the user can visualise the photograph in its original format, accompanied by all the information and the services in order to get the full benefit of the item.

The resources of the Index are classified on the basis of a Thesaurus, a specialised dictionary, designed to manage and arrange diverse elements of information as well as information coming from different cataloguing systems.

Further information is available in the section Technical documentation.


Why participate?

The harvesting of metadata on CulturaItalia does result in the duplication of resources since the viewing of the resources remains available exclusively on the individual institutions websites.

The original data remain physically in the possession of the providers, who will be responsible for their creation, validation, management and upkeep.

The editing staff of CulturaItalia will create value around the information contained in the INDEX by means of full-length articles which will propose thematic itineraries for the user to discover the content resources contained in the databases of providers participating in the project.

CulturaItalia acquires contents on the basis of the international standard called Protocol for Metadata Harvesting of the Open Archive Initiative (OAI-PMH) for the harvesting of data, and on the basis of the metadata standard Dublin Core for the compatibility among resources originating in various sectors. In this way, participation in CulturaItalia permits the provider to participate in the largest international content-sharing network, analogous to what is taking place at the European level for the construction of the European Digital Library, and based on the same standards.


Participation in CulturaItalia in nine steps

1. Presentation of the database by emailing and indicating the following information: institution, database in question and person responsible for the database, the thematic frame of reference, the type of content (audio, text, image), makeup of the data, and whether or not there are metadata present (eg. in Dublin Core, ICCD, MAG or other format)

2. Formalisation of the participation agreement

3. Agreement upon and publishing of the official mapping document, in which you establish the level at which data can be gathered and uploaded onto the portal

4. Installation and configuration of the Repository OAI-PMH (the Ministry makes a versione with GPL license available)

5. Extraction of the data and filling of the repository

6. Verification of the quality of the metadata by way of direct query in the repository

7. Harvesting of the metadata

8. Verification of the quality of the metadata uploaded onto CulturaItalia

9. Setting the timeframe for any necessary data updates.


For information and comments send an email to

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