ABOUT ESBIRKY is a joint project of the National Museum and MUSOFT.CZ. Its mission is to make digitalized museum and gallery collections accessible to the general public and record small museums’ and galleries‘ collections completely free. eSbirky publish photographs, audio, video and in the near future it will also be possible to present 3D objects. The website visitors can search by institution, type of the collection, material, place of origin and dating. The public react to positively, actively collaborating and supplementing technical descriptions of collection items or eventually, offer new objects into collections.

Thus, how can interested parties from amongst institutions join the project and how can eSbirky be administered? The best way is to contact the manager of the project by e-mail: She will then open the institution’s account and arrange all other particulars. Each participating institution receives a unique password and a login, to be able to administer their collections in the virtual environment. The personnel who are in charge of collections management then undergo a short training on the portal administration, and this is either directly in the National Museum or through Skype calling. Into the environment it is possible either to record one subject at a time or to record in bulk, using the CSV format, eventually using the OAI-PMH protocol. However, this method assumes that the institution disposes of a Web presentation with XML output.

It is better to record photographs of collection items at a lower resolution to preclude their unauthorized printing. Except for this measure, all photographs on the portal are protected by a watermark, which is the institution logo, eventually the portal logo. The watermark can be inserted either to the lover right corner of the photograph, or across the whole photograph, depending on the importance of the item. Its position is totaly up to the decision of the particular institution.

In case of a decision to publish only on the website, the institution do not have to sign a contract. However, if the institution wants to use the connection of with, it is necessary to sign the so-called DEA contract, i.e. Europeana Data Exchange agreement, which is available for download at The team of will then ensure the publication of data in the environment of Europeana. Each participating institution can freely export their own data from this portal to other databases unaided or can use the technical support by the team. The presentation in the online environment is entirely free and the participating organizations administer their allocated space themselves. They spend money only on work of their own employees who administer the application.

Over the two years of its existence. the contents of the website has expanded more than four times. In November 2010 it numbered 5,000 collection items from seven memory institutions. now it accumulates the content of 27 institutions and other five are preparing for publishing. The number of presented objects is now more than 27,000. The average daily visit rate to the portal is 150 unique portal inputs, while a visitor spends on average 4.5 minutes on the pages.


technical support