R. Hecht
(ARC Seibersdorf – RSA DME, Vienna, Austria)

BRICKS is an Integrated Project within the European Union’s 6th Framework. The project started in January 2004 and is now in its design phase.
BRICKS consists of an open infrastructure, which will be made available as open source product and specialized services built upon this infrastructure. The main characteristics of the infrastructure are:

  • Peer-to-Peer network: a decentralized network that allows for easy integration of new nodes
  • Multi-media digital library: not only for text documents, but also pictures, videos, audio, etc.
  • Content Management: member organizations of BRICKS can store digital content in BRICKS or make content stored in other systems available to BRICKS
  • Cross-lingual Semantic Search: search for concepts rather than for keywords – will find also synonyms, narrower terms and documents in languages other than the language of the query
  • Collections: ability to structure content according to different taxonomies
  • Annotations: users can comment on content items as well as other people’s comments.

This feature is particularly interesting for scientific collaboration.
Advanced Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Digital Rights Management: ensures that the content owner can determine who can access, copy, or distribute his content.
BRICKS aims to become the reference source for information concerning European Cultural Heritage. To achieve this goal we invite all organizations working in this field to participate. The list of BRICKS members includes the Greek Museum of Cycladic Art, the British Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council and many others.
Participation in BRICKS is particularly interesting for art historians and archaeologists, because it will enable them to search many information sources at once rather than contacting each institution individually. Distribution through the BRICKS network ca make their results available to a broader public than by printing alone.