3.2 BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES FOR MULTILINGUAL WEBSITES 86
3.2.1 Best practice examples of multilingual websites with thesaurus 86
3.2.2 Best practices of multilingual websites with free text indexing 89
4. CONCLUSIONS 94
5. FUTURE PERSPECTIVES 96
ANNEX 1: QUESTIONNAIRE 97
ANNEX 2: INTERNATIONAL THESAURI AND CONTROLLED VOCABULARIES 104
ANNEX 3: OTHER INITIATIVES 105
ANNEX 4: REGISTERED THESAURI ON THE SURVEY’S WEBSITE 107
From February 2004 10 new member states (plus Russia and Israel) have been participating in the joint European initiative of MINERVA Plus working with MINERVA to coordinate digitization efforts and activities. Since then Minerva Plus supplementary working groups (SWG) started operation and Hungary became the coordinator of SWG Multilingual thesauri. The issue of multilingualism is becoming more and more important in making the digital cultural heritage of Europe available. Language is one of the most significant barriers to access of websites and, because of this barrier, great parts of the European digital cultural heritage cannot be found on the Internet.
MINERVA Plus conducted a major survey to get an overview of the situation concerning language usage in cultural websites. The aim of the survey was to see to what extent cultural websites and portals are available for users of different language communities and also whether websites use more languages than the language they were originally created in. Furthermore the survey intended to find out if cultural websites are using retrieval tools such as controlled vocabularies or thesauri and whether multilingual tools are available for use.
The methodology used for our survey included a questionnaire completed on a voluntary basis by our target group: libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions operating websites. The selection of the websites was not scientifically founded and so the sampling is not statistically representative. Nevertheless, the survey yielded a general picture of multilingualism of cultural websites and the findings will be a good starting point for more systematic and statistically valid research in the future.
I would like to thank our Israeli colleagues for letting us use their questionnaire (Registry of Controlled Vocabularies related to Jewish Cultural Heritage and Israel) as basis for our survey.
I am also very grateful to our respondents for collecting and mailing the requested information.
Last but not least I would like to express my gratitude to the editorial board of this document.
NRG member for Hungary
"We dedicate this report to the memory of the late Stephen Conrad.”
Christophe Dessaux (France), Kate Fernie (The United Kingdom), Antonella Fresa (Italy), Dr. Allison Kupietzky (Israel), Marzia Piccininno (Italy), Martina Rozman Salobir (Slovenia), Gabriella Szalóki (Hungary)