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The Collection Registry is a free tool provided by DARIAH-DE to describe collections. This means that at this point, references to collection data are written and stored (and, if available, an access method is specified on the data) and not the data from collections themselves.In the collection registry, you can describe your collection, including technical interfaces, and you can access a much more detailed description schema (DARIAH Collection Description Data Model - DCDDM) than this is possible when publishing with, for example, Dublin Core Simple.The Collection Registry is anchored in the DARIAH-DE Data Federation Architecture  and plays an important role in the research data life cycle and in research data management. You will find further recommendations on research data management on the DARIAH-DE Website.

Scientific Collections

A scientific collection within DARIAH-DE is not defined only as digital literacy or full-text collection based solely on formal criteria. Much more, within DARIAH-DE a scientific collection could also be formed according to content, research-related or professional criteria (See report on collection concepts from DARIAH-DE II). These may have been formed from formal collections, but may also have been grouped from several other of these formal collections. In this sense, formal collections are raw data and the basis for the creation of scientific collections. These are also aggregations of research and metadata, which are compiled by scientists to answer research questions within specific research contexts and enriched with further information such as standard data or annotations in machine-readable form.

A collection of scientifically relevant research data (see Definition Oltersdorf/Schmunk 2016)

  • is the subject of scientific questions and serves the validation of statements, methods, theses, hypotheses or theories in research and teaching,
  • can be the origin and result of scientific work (research data life cycle),
  • is documented in a regular form, ideally recorded according to international standards and decorated with normative data,

  • provides information on their usage conditions (licenses), and 

  • serves to order the collection's objects and their archival storage. 

Ultimately, from the point of view of DARIAH-DE nearly all objects can be aggregated in collections. They do not have to be physical objects or their representation, but also, for example, metadata for objects or graphical evaluations or visualizations of data sets. A collection can also be a number of research data, practically a number of files.

Benefits of the Collection Registry

for existing collections, with or without a technical interface to the (digital) objects

If the files of a collection are already publicly accessible and are already provided with persistent identifiers and a memory organization is taking care of their safe storage, these files can be addressed as a collection description in the DARIAH-DE Collection Registry. If there is a technical interface to the objects of the collection, this can also be specified in the collection descriptionThus, the contents of the collection are indexed in the Generic Search of DARIAH-DE and can be found there.

for collections that are not yet publicly available and which shall be published

If the research data is available as a collection or as single files only, maybe locally on a hard drive, on a CD or in another non-publicly accessible location, the data can not be found and re-used by other interested researchers. The research data of such collections – if they are not yet be cultivated and curated – are therefore not at all sustainably available to science for the re-use. If such research results are to be stored securely and citable, they can be imported into the DARIAH-DE Repository via the DARIAH-DE Publikator. Then the research data...

  • …is stored safely in the repository,

  • …can thus be permanently referred to and cited,
  • …is publicly accessible,
  • can be described as a collection in the Collection Registry, and
  • …is then searchable in the DARIAH-DE Generic Search.

The research data is thus included in the research data life cycle and is thus available for subsequent use.

Where can I find the Collection Registry?

You can reach the DARIAH-DE Collection Registry via the DARIAH-DE Portal or directly via this

Link to DARIAH-DE Collection Registry

To use the DARIAH-DE Collection Registry, please log in with your DARIAH or Federation account. If you do not have a DARIAH account, you can apply for it here.

How do I use the Collection Registry?

How do I sign up?

If you have opened the page for the Collection Registry, first, the start page appears. On the right you will see a dashboard with the latest entries and changes or recent activities. In addition to the dashboard, you can see an object network consisting of all the collection descriptions and actors for the visual preparation of the content of the collection registry and it so provides an alternative access to the individual objects.


If you want to create a collection by yourself or want to view your personal draft versions (such as collection descriotion drafts created by the DARIAH-DE Publikator), you can sign in with your DARIAH account. To do this, go to the login button at the top right of the page. You will be redirected to the following window, please search for DARIAH and then go to Select.

The following window then appears with the actual login DARIAH AAI page (Authentication Authorization Infrastructure):


The advantage of this is that you only have to log in once to use all DARIAH services. From this point onwards, all services are available free of charge.

After the registration

After logging in, you should be able to see your DARIAH user name in the upper-right corner. There, you can also log out if you want to. You are now authorized to create and edit collection descriptions. You can also view and supplement your draft-versions. The next chapter explains how to create a new collection description and where to find the draft-vesions that were created automatically by the DARIAH-DE Publikator.

Create and edit a new collection description (including draft versions)

If you want to create a new collection description, you must first leave the dashboard and go To the collections.


Here you have access to all published collection descriptions and your personal draft-versions. Already published collection descriptions can also be edited.


If you would like to create a new collection, click on the following button at the upper right:

Then a page opens with the collection editor, from which you can conveniently edit your collection description. You have now created a new collection.

Within the collection editor, you now have the opportunity to describe your collection in detail and as granular as you want to. You can find these categories, which are subdivided into properties, on the left side of the collection editor:


Please note the Obligatory Descriptions. These are mandatory fields, which must be completed. They include the following:


To add the title, acronym (shortcut from the initial letters of the collection, for example, xx) and language, click on the Add Description button to go to the following input fields:

 As you can see, the obligatory descriptions aren´t that many:  

  • The language (please note: this is the language of the description set, not of the collection objects or the collection itself)

  • The title of the collection
  • If available: the acronym
  • A short description
  • The collection type indicates whether it is, for example, a digital collection
  • Rights (Collection description)
  • Access rights to the contents of the collection description

License terms

Collection descriptions and contents of a collection are subject to different license terms. If you would like to learn more about licenses, click here. 

 If you are not sure how to fill certain fields, you can use our Editor Options:

You will then see a short description for each field and expectations how they can be completed.

For the first fields, this would look like this:

Creating a new actor

When you create a new collection description, you are obliged to name an actor to the appropriate collection. You can select from a list of already created actors. If the actor is not yet existing, you have to create it initially.

An actor can be a single person or an organisation. To add a new actor, first go To the actors. If you are already logged in to the Collection Registry, the following page appears:

In the upper right corner, click Add Actor and the Actor Editor appears with various description possibilities:

The mandatory fields marked as such must be filled in. If you are finished with the entries, click Save and the newly created actor can now be found in the collection editor. 

Saving a new collection description

To save your collection description simply click on the appropriate button. The following message appears:

Your collection description is now saved as a draft for you and can only be viewed and edited by you. You can work on it any time and also delete it.

Publishing a collection description

If you are happy with your collection description and want it to be publicly available, you can publish it in the Collection Registry. Just click on:

Then your draft is now publicly visible and the status of the description also has changed. All users of the Collection Registry can now see your description and also changes are externally visible. If you have provided technical access to the collection, the collection's objects are indexed by the DARIAH-DE Generic Search and the data is now researchable there.

You still have administration rights to the collection description. This field can be found at the bottom of the description editorHere you will find the ID of the description, a version ID, the status of the current version, and a timestamp when the description was created.

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