Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


Beethoven Online

Manfred Bogen , GMD - German National Research Center for Information, Germany
Martin Goebel , GMD - German National Research Center for Information Technology, Germany
Simone Lahme , GMD - German National Research Center for Information Technology, Germany

Session: Demonstrations 1

The Digital Beethoven House is a digital library project of Ludwig van Beethoven is the most famous son of the city of Bonn in the Rhineland of Germany. The composer was born here in 1770. Bonn became the center of the documentation and research about Beethoven's life and works. Beethoven's birthplace, the Beethoven House in Bonn, today contains a museum and herein a collection of more than 4000 original documents, music instruments, and contemporary objects. They have to be preserved for future generations and should be opened at the same time for the broad public and music research.

After the move of the German Government from Bonn to Berlin, the city of Bonn concentrates in its tourism concept on Beethoven to attract tourists to Bonn. Beethoven and Bonn should become one notion world-wide.

Consequently, the Digital Beethoven House will be a digital library project of the Beethoven House Association and the City of Bonn in co-operation with GMD funded by the German Government, the German Research Community (DFG) and the City of Bonn. It is highly innovative as pilot project for the digitizing of coloured musical handwritings.

At present, a rapid prototype/demonstrator is being developed in a preparation phase of the overall project. Beethoven Online will be the global visibility of this project. It will contain a course on Beethoven's music and life, which teaches the Beethoven friend as well as the scientist, and it will visualize Beethoven's workroom, offering access to one composition ('i.e. Symphony No. 6 ('Pastorale')) through every-day objects. Additionally, facilities to work with the digital archive, naturally based on a few documents only, will be modelled. This paper describes the conception of the rapid prototype/demonstrator together with its embedding into the overall project plan and the rationale behind it.