ACHS Workshop

About the Workshop

Accessing Cultural Heritage at Scale is a workshop collocated at the JCDL 2016 conference, to be held in Newark, NJ, USA. The workshop will take place on the afternoon of 22 June 2016.

Our focus is on challenges and opportunities, current and emerging developments in the area of information access via exploration and discovery in large-scale digital libraries and collections, particularly in the cultural heritage domain. We will consider the underlying technologies which enable this access, as well as interaction functionalities, and user evaluations. Our goal is to identify the needs of providers and their users, assess the current state-of-the-art, and to identify challenges and prioritize areas of future research potential.


Large-scale digital libraries are becoming ubiquitous within and between cultural heritage (libraries, museums and archives) institutions, with increasing variety of content (media formats, metadata, and level of detail in text description), diverse user communities (from expert to novice) with differing, often poorly defined, and even unanticipated information needs, and widely varying interfaces to support more exploratory information seeking. In these ‘big libraries’ with challenges presented by both the volume and variety of content, we can also therefore add the further challenges of needing to support variety of uses and users.

Approaches to understanding and dealing with these challenges are many and varied, with complementary and competing alternatives in evidence, often using emerging and experimental techniques. Complexity arises in data processing for content preparation and presentation, interaction design to allow support for enhanced multimodal approaches to discovery and exploration, which go beyond the search box, and in evaluation of these digital libraries at multiple levels, including system, content and user-specific variables, as proposed for example, via the Interaction Triptych Model.

In this challenging, and constantly changing environment, it is important to review progress to date, and explore the future potential of emerging trends in information access functionality, interaction capabilities, and underlying techniques and technologies employed, in areas such as knowledge organization, content enrichment, visualization, personalization, and adaptivity.


The workshop is intended as a forum for knowledge sharing, discussion, and networking. Specific objectives are:

  • Identify outstanding information access challenges and understand their impacts on digital library providers and users;
  • Review latest developments for enhancing information access in cultural heritage digital libraries;
  • Work towards a view of future research needs;
  • Strengthen connections between academics and industry for potential collaborations.


The workshop will be of interest to researchers and practitioners working in the fields of digital libraries, cultural heritage, interactive IR, content enrichment, evaluation and user studies, and other areas related to information access in large-scale DLs.