Coding da Vinci: Cultural Data Hackathon and Reverse Incubator for Cultural Heritage Institutions

THE ARTS+ RUNWAY 12. October 2018 10:00 - 11:00

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Digitisation in the cultural heritage sector has had a legacy focus on collection databases, inventory, cataloguing and, as an unfortunately modest end goal, online access.

Since its inception in 2014 „Coding da Vinci“, Germany’s first hackathon for openly licensed cultural data, has tried to answer the question: What’s next? What can coders, designers, makers and other creators do with those data? With what kind of projects will they be inspired to do?

And how would an ideal ecosystem for those creators and their projects look like?

Coding da Vinci addresses these challenges head-on by creating a platform to connect cultural institutions and creative communities working with digital data.

In (yet) 5 installments „Coding da Vinci“ has answered those questions 90 times, 90 being the number of entries in its project archive: https://codingdavinci.de/projects.

„Coding da Vinci“ is an experimental space that not only offers new ways of engaging with our cultural heritage, but, also confronts the participating cultural heritage institutions – in a very condensed, hands-on and sped-up way – with all the issues that have to be addressed during the digital transformation of one’s organization.

„Coding da Vinci – Der Kultur-Hackathon“ is a joint project of the German Digital Library, the Research and Competence Center for Digitisation Berlin (digiS), Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and Wikimedia Germany.


Its next regional edition, „Coding da Vinci Rhein-Main“, will take place in the Rhein-Main area, starting with a kick-off weekend on October 27-28 at the University of Mainz and concluding with a public project presentation and award ceremony on December 1 at the Landesmuseum Mainz. „Coding da Vinci Rhein-Main“ is organized collaboratively by mainzed – the Mainz Centre for Digitality in the Humanities and Cultural Studies, the University Library Mainz, the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz, the Specialised Information Service Performing Arts, the German Digital Library, the University and State Library Darmstadt, the Municipal and Collegiate Archive Aschaffenburg, the Historical Museum Frankfurt, Wikipedia Frankfurt and the NODE Forum for Digital Arts.

From 2019 to 2023 Coding da Vinci will be funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Following three short introductory presentations we will, together with the audience, enter a discussion about the Coding da Vinci experience.



  • Stephan Bartholmei, Head of Product Development and Innovation, German Digital Library, Co-Founder of Coding da Vinci
  • Dr. Anne Klammt, Managing Director, Mainzer Center for Digitality in Humanities and Cultural Studies Mainzed
  • Dr. Elisabeth Klein, Scientific Associate, University Library Mainz, project coordinator for Coding da Vinci Rhein-Main
  • Lisa Ihde, Computer Scientist, HPI Potsdam, two-time Coding da Vinci participant and winner