National and University Library in Zagreb visiting the National Library of Estonia

From the 4th to the 6th of December, 2019, Dragana Koljenik of the Croatian Institute for Librarianship, National and University Library in Zagreb, visited the National Library of Estonia to participate in the 7th Estonian Digital Humanities Conference.

The objectives of the exchange were

  • To represent the National and University Library in Zagreb at the 7th Estonian Digital Humanities Conference
  • To present the ‘Networks of Virtual Exhibitions’ project at the conference.
  • To gain insights on the newest developments in the field of digital humanities.
  • To use the knowledge gained at the conference to further develop the National and University Library in Zagreb’s own project.

Summary of the Exchange

Dragana Koljenik visited the Estonian National Library in Tallinn in order to participate in the 7th Estonian Digital Humanities Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Use of Digital Cultural Heritage in Research and Education’ and Dragana gave a presentation titled ‘Networks of Virtual Exhibitions – Creative and Innovative Ways of Interpreting and Communicating Cultural Heritage’.

The keynote speakers included Andra Siibak, who gave a talk in which she discussed findings of different empirical studies which provide an overview of the main practices and digital competencies of the present day young and offer a look into the mind-set and dominant thought-patterns of the current young generation. Another keynote was Mahendra Mahey from The British Library who gave an overview of digital collections and data being made available through British Library Labs, and how digital technologies can be used to visualise and shine light on a library’s holdings. Mikko Tolonen, a professor of digital humanities at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, introduced the audience to educational principles of digital humanities and the challenges that come with grounding a new methodological approach, such as digital humanities, to “traditional” disciplines.

During the conference visit, Dragana also participated in a tour of the Library as well as on one of the workshops held by Mr. Mahendra Mahey, titled ‘A hands-on data exploration & challenge to become a derived data-set author on the British Library’s open data-set platform (data.bl.uk).’

Outcomes of the Exchange

By participating in this conference, Dragana was able to present the Croatian ‘Networks of Virtual Exhibitions’ project to a wider audience of library professionals. The conference also provided an excellent environment in which to learn about other digital scholarship projects happening in libraries and museums around the world. Networking opportunities proved fruitful as well since we are already planning a few collaborations. The workshop that I attended served as a benchmark for similar workshops we will organise in our Library.

Quotes from participants

“Participating in this conference gave me a great opportunity to present our Networks of Virtual Exhibitions project but also to learn about other similar projects and general developments in the field.” Dragana Koljenik