III. Overview of Recommendations
Key Challenge 1: Raise the competence in cultural heritage institutions
Cultural institutions should put human resources development high on their priorities list.
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:
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.
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.
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
Area 2: Digitisation automation and mass storage:
Area 3: Long-term preservation of complex digital resources and research related to dynamic digital objects:
Area 4: New tools:
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.