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Nepal Heritage Documentation Project launches DANAM

Apr 24, 2019

The Nepal Heritage Documentation Project (NHDP) at the HCTS recently launched DANAM, the Digital Archive of Nepalese Arts and Monuments, with the aim of documenting the endangered cultural heritage of Nepal. Its datasets include monument descriptions, their history and iconography, architectural drawings, site plans and photographic documentation.

DANAM, the Digital Archive of Nepalese Arts and Monuments, has been and continues to be developed by the Nepal Heritage Documentation Project. Its first commitment is a series of temples, monuments and public rest houses spread across the ancient city of Patan (Lalitpur). With more heritage documentation fieldwork in progress, the database will accommodate growing numbers of datasets reviewed by renowned experts and scientific personnel from Nepal, Germany and internationally. All of its content is available to the public for free and can be accessed online from anywhere on the planet.

DANAM is based on arches (V4), an open source graph technology platform designed for managing cultural heritage repositories. Its content is shareable and interoperable in order to secure long-term access, storage and smooth usability of the monument data inventory for the general public as well as heritage researchers.

The archive allows users to explore its data and specify targeted queries in various ways. While the basic search uses a full-text search of all material available in the datasets, targeted search queries are possible with the advanced search module that allows the user to compose specific combinations of filters. Moreover, street and satellite maps are available for geospatial information of monuments as well as related resources.

DANAM is currently under development and its datasets are continuously being reviewed and completed. Future releases of the portal will include detailed information about teams and staff members, a news section, institutional partners and more detailed information on how to use DANAM, the technology behind it, as well as links to relevant resources outside of DANAM.

The Nepal Heritage Documentation Project is situated at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies of Heidelberg University and is a cooperation with the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The project is headed by HCTS Professor Christiane Brosius and former Cluster co-director Prof. Axel Michaels. Funded by Arcadia charitable fund, this pilot project provides equipment and bundles expertise for extensive heritage documentation fieldwork in Nepal, data management and the development of DANAM since October 2018. Within its runtime until 2020, the project aims at curating more than four hundred individual monuments.

 


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