| Table of contents | Foreword | Introduction | Overview of recommendations | Situation analysis | Key Issues | Conclusion | Imprint |

III. Overview of Recommendations

Archives, libraries and museums

  Key Challenge 1: Raise the competence in cultural heritage institutions

Cultural institutions should put human resources development high on their priorities list.

  • Cultural heritage associations and educational institutions should set measures to speed up the transfer and integration of knowledge into professional training and develop special courses for key areas such as digital management and preservation.
  • With regard to basic qualifications, cultural heritage associations and institutions should promote the adoption of the European Computer Driving License as an important requirement for continuing professional development.

  Key Challenge 2: Co-operation at all levels is key to marketing to new target groups

Cultural heritage institutions should actively seek the co-operation and partnership with other institutions across the sector, research centres, networks of excellence, intermediary organisations, and commercial businesses to reduce risk, avoid market failure and waste of resources. Co-operation should be sought in order to:

  • build enriched, interactive environments and new cultural services that customers will demand in the future;
  • present and/or market their products and services on common virtual cultural heritage platforms as well as tourism networks that aggregate visitors and users;
  • provide packaged material (e.g. course material) for the educational sector;
  • digitise and manage cultural heritage resources;
  • negotiate licensing models that involve creators and owners of digital cultural surrogates as well as distributors and licensees that work closely with various target groups;
  • build protected environments and enable the academic and educational communities to use licensed digitised resources.

  Key Challenge 3: Strive to better exploit your own strengths and core competencies

Cultural heritage institutions should build on their strengths, authenticity, knowledge-based interpretation and contextualisation, and use new technologies to develop their own niche markets for licensed resources.

  Key Challenge 4: Become methodical

Anchored in national digitisation programmes, cultural heritage institutions should formulate organisational digitisation policies that transparently state selection criteria based on:

1) user demands,

2) the quality of the source material, and

3) future management of digitised material.


National and regional governments

  Key Challenge 1: Develop a methodological and co-ordinated approach to digitisation

National governments and regional authorities should formulate clear digitisation programmes enabling cultural heritage institutions to formulate their own organisational digitisation policies.

Instead of funding individual digitisation projects in separate cultural heritage institutions, national governments, regional authorities and other funding bodies should invest in comprehensive digitisation programmes.

National governments and regional authorities should build on ongoing co-ordination initiatives for digitisation programmes. They should strive to establish an information exchange infrastructure or interface connecting top-down initiatives vertically with regional initiatives, as well as horizontally, with other Member States.

  Key Challenge 2: Empowerment of small ALM-institutions and regional cultural heritage initiatives

National governments and regional authorities should develop mechanisms allowing small and under-resourced memory institutions to participate.

National and regional governments should ensure that small cultural heritage institutions can participate in all e-culture initiatives and make full use of the opportunities provided by new technologies.

  Key Challenge 3: The educational market is a key area for cultural heritage.

National governments and regional authorities should see the educational use of digital cultural heritage information as a key target in any national digitisation programme.

National and regional governments should support the establishment of virtual protected environments as the most relevant future platforms for cultural e-learning.

  Key Challenge 4: Taking care of and ensure access to born-digital cultural heritage resources

In those European Member States that have a legal deposit system, national governments should expand the legal deposit to include electronic and born-digital material.

In countries without a legal deposit system, national governments and regional authorities should nevertheless appoint trusted organisations to collect, make accessible and preserve born digital cultural resources. These trusted organisations should then enter into negotiations with content providers to decide on rights agreements for deposit and future use.

  Key Challenge 5: Secure access to cultural heritage material also in the future

National governments need to take immediate action on long-term preservation and formulate a digital preservation strategy as part of their national information policy. The strategy should involve the creation of a network of certified organisations that will archive and preserve digital cultural resources.

  Key Challenge 6: Establish a supportive infrastructure for cultural heritage institutions (slip stream model)

Governments and other funding bodies should invest in specialised organisations that support small and medium sized archives, libraries and museums in the setting up and managing of digital collections (e.g. digitisation, collection management, online registration of users, licensing, and transactions).

National and regional governments should support cultural heritage institutions in developing digital on- and off-line products that bring the richness of their collections to a broader public. This includes creating conditions favourable to partnerships with private businesses as well as sponsorship.

  Key Challenge 7: Set up effective co-ordination and dissemination mechanisms for cultural heritage know-how

National governments and regional authorities should set up a co-ordination and dissemination infrastructure that helps cultural heritage institutions to make informed decisions on future technological developments.


The European Commission

  Key Challenge 1: Enable small and under-resourced cultural heritage institutions to participate in future Research & Development (R&D) programmes by narrowing the existing technology gap

The European Commission should ensure that small cultural heritage institutions can participate in all e-culture initiatives and make full use of the opportunities provided by new technologies.

The European Commission needs to lower the entry barriers for small memory institutions and develop a slip-stream model for R&D participation.

The European Commission should find a good balance between the funding of innovative, high risk projects and R&D programmes that allow smaller cultural heritage institutions to catch up.

The European Commission should fund the dissemination of best practice information on digitisation and ensure that this information is readily available to ALMs Europe-wide.

  Key Challenge 2: Raise awareness for the potential of cultural heritage in the educational market

The European Commission should fund a current assessment of the educational market as one of the key markets for digital cultural heritage information, and disseminate best practice in the field of educational-cultural projects.

  Key Challenge 3: Raise awareness for the use of standards

The European Commission as a primary funding body should actively promote the use of announced or open standards by making standards compliance a requirement for future funding for proposers of cultural heritage (and all other) projects.

  Key Challenge 4: Future R&D

In the 6th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities, the European Commission should solicit proposals for projects in the following areas:

Area 1: Intelligent user guidance and navigation

  • Development of intelligent narratives and contextualisation tools for cultural heritage data;
  • Automated image analysis tools for historical pictorial data.

Area 2: Digitisation automation and mass storage:

  • Best practice cases in mass storage;
  • Automated mass digitisation;
  • Metadata capturing at the point of digitisation and integration of digitisation with collection management.

Area 3: Long-term preservation of complex digital resources and research related to dynamic digital objects:

  • Long-term preservation strategies for complex digital cultural heritage resources;
  • Best practice cases in emulation as a long-term preservation strategy;
  • Preservation solutions for dynamic digital objects;
  • New approaches to naming on the web and further development of persistent identifier systems;
  • Raise awareness for long-term preservation issues outside the cultural heritage community.

Area 4: New tools:

  • High productivity tools for non-technical users, (e.g. knowledge based authoring);
  • Interactivity through a wide range of human-machine interfaces;
  • Collaborative tools supporting various modes;
  • Intelligent systems supporting users at different levels;
  • Research in the usage of advanced technologies within cultural heritage applications.

Area 5: Intelligent Cultural Heritage and Knowledge Technologies:

Cultural heritage provides an excellent testbed for future knowledge technologies. The European Commission should therefore foster the use, adaptation and adoption of knowledge technologies by cultural heritage institutions, and encourage further exchange of expertise between cultural heritage experts and knowledge technologists.

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