The customer: Founded in 1888, the German Historical Institute in Rome is one of Germany’s oldest foreign historical organisations. The institute’s activities revolve around historical research and it offers scholars a library collection that stretches from the late medieval period to the end of the Second World War, containing over 157,000 books and 645 present-day journals. The institute also houses a Music History section, which focuses on inter-relations and influences between Italian and German music, with a library numbering some 55,000 books and 400 journals.
The challenge: The desire to raise the profile of its research and make it more accessible led the institute to build multimedia databases that enable online consultation of research and book collections, which were previously only available in hard copies. The process began in around 2003, with each application or project initially being assigned a dedicated server. However, “this growth method turned out to be increasingly unsustainable as time went on,” remembers Niklas Bolli, IT Systems Manager at the institute. “So, in 2010 we embarked on a consolidation process in order to contain costs and ensure adequate flexibility for future developments.”
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