The Royal Danish Library automates the collection of digital cultural heritage with Managed File Transfer


The Royal Danish Library automates the collection of digital cultural heritage with Managed File Transfer

Denmark has had a legal deposit law in place since 1781, which is used to collect printed cultural heritage. Legal deposit has now been expanded to include digital publications, as well as radio and television content. One of their tasks as Denmark’s national library is to collect, preserve and provide access to cultural heritage in the form of texts, images and audio. Therefore, the Royal Danish Library was looking for a way to simplify and automate the collection of cultural heritage. The library requested BlueFinch’s help and expertise on the GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution through a tender. 

By Jaimie van de Braak

Manually processing digital materials 

For the digital legal deposit of published material, the Royal Danish Library was looking for a solution to be able to offer the deposit of digital materials and their associated metadata in a flexible way. “Providing digital photos or music was done manually”, says Bjarne Anderson, head of the Royal Danish Library’s data department. “There were a variety of ways to deposit, including e-mail and USB, as well as using an FTP server with larger publishers. For every use case we did something new.”   

This created a significant amount of work for the library’s staff, who had to download the files, enter the metadata themselves, and upload the digital content to their database. “Moreover, we did not receive a lot of these materials, because it was a hassle for the publishers as well”, Anderson adds. “To fulfil our task to collect cultural heritage we needed to streamline this process.”  

Selection process via European tender  

The library issued a tender in their search for the best solution. Claus Jensen, who works in IT at the Royal Danish Library and was involved in the MFT project, says: “There were specific requirements. We wanted a secure webform where individual publishers could upload their materials. Furthermore, larger publishers should be able to use an API to upload their bulk of materials. We also had to comply with the ISO 27001 international standard for data security, so the new system had to meet that requirement as well. BlueFinch and the GoAnywhere MFT solution appeared to best meet our requirements based on the tender.” 

BlueFinch is not unfamiliar with helping libraries with secure managed file transfers. The Royal Library of the Netherlands and the French national library also make use of Bluefinch’s expertise. 

GoAnywhere MFT workflows for different use cases 

Together with BlueFinch the Royal Danish Library implemented the GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer system for digital legal deposits. The MFT solution helps them to centralise and secure file transfers, automate manual uploading processes, manage metadata, and meet data security standards.  

Via the website of the library, it is possible for every Danish citizen to log in with NemLog-in. In Denmark, NemLog-in provides access to government self-service solutions. This authentication process is integrated with the MFT solution. Via the secure webform it is possible to upload music, e-books and programmes from local radio stations, including the metadata such as artist and song title. For the larger publishers an automated workflow is used. Providers who regularly deposit large amounts of digital content, such as e-books with complete metadata files, can use this method to deposit their materials.

A secure MFT solution to collect and process digital cultural heritage 

“The great advantage of our new MFT solution is that you can work with it even if you are not a developer”, Anderson says. “With 12 developers in my team we could have built this system ourselves. However, this would mean that a developer should be involved in every minor change or modification. With GoAnywhere we now have a useful toolbox that non-IT people can easily use to set up new workflows. As a result, it is much easier to use not only for our external publishers, but also for our internal colleagues who must work with it.”

The Royal Danish Library now has an MFT solution that is both user-friendly and secure in terms of data and communication. The MFT tool can be used both internally and externally. Publishers receive a summary of their deposits, as well as a receipt for the materials and metadata they have deposited (or failed to deposit). Internally, the library’s employees also receive receipts in connection with the deposits made.

Developing the MFT solution further

The Royal Danish Library is still developing their MFT solution actively. “The standard GoAnywhere system meets our initial requirements, however there are always things we want to improve”, Jensen says. “What is great is that GoAnywhere as a solution provider listens very carefully to us as one of their customers”, Anderson adds. “We can actively contribute to the product roadmap, and some of our requests have been developed and are now part of the standard MFT solution.”  

A pleasant cooperation with BlueFinch

“It was a pleasure working with BlueFinch on this project,” Jensen says. “We have been collaborating for several years now and they are extremely helpful whenever we have a question.” “I was not closely involved when the project started, but I heard nothing but good about working with them from other colleagues in the legal deposit department”, Anderson concludes.


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