he Forum's senior cultural heritage voice,
Jon Birger Østby
, the Director General
of Norway's newly created Archive, Library and
Museum Authority ABM Utvikling,
wonderful example of the gap between cultural and
pedagogic thinking - digitisation based on curators'
needs rather than education - in an exhibition at the
National Copenhagen Museum of Greenland's Inuit
He recalled: `They thought they had fantastic
digitised material in the museum catalogues but the
museum discovered very soon that the answers to
the public's questions were only in the heads of the
curators, not in the records.'
`Another example: the Norwegian folk museum
has 1650 mangle boards, devices to press clothes.
The curators knew that they had a digital film and
an excellent article about these boards but you will
not find anything about how to use them in any of
these 1650 records. For the education sector it is very
important to merge these different types of materials.
And then you need a standard for how to find it.'
That struck a chord with the Forum's sole
Scotswoman, Assistant Director of the UK Centre
for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards
Lorna M. Campbell
. Her recent focus
has been the development of a UK Common
Metadata Framework, an application profile of the
`Providing good quality metadata is going to be
fundamental', she said. `We have to consider not only
what kind of metadata we need in terms of: technical
metadata, cataloguing, digital rights management
(which I think is going to be crucial in this field)
and learning objects, but who creates
it. We need to think about what
peoples' roles are or are going to be.
We are already seeking this in the
higher education sector.What do
librarians do? What do academics do?
There is a parallel here.What does
the cultural heritage sector do and
what does the educational sector do?'
Fabrizio Cardinali had detected the
shift in higher education over the last
five years. `We have seen a drift in
universities which have begun to
market their content abroad, but we
have still not seen this drift in the
cultural heritage managers. It needs
to be a high-level commitment.'
was sceptical. Chief executive of
the UK's Simulacra Media
consultancy, he has
worked with the UK Department for Education and
Skills (DfES) Curriculum Online
Web portal and the Countryside Agen-
Local Heritage Initiative, among other similar
projects in cultural heritage institutions. `I think one
of the big cultural changes (excuse the pun) will be
a more business-like approach to this,' he said. `This
is expensive and people in the UK in these sectors
do not think in a business-like fashion. If you talk
to them about making money with their assets they
tend to look away.'
He recommended the DfES paper The Value
Chain for Digital Learning Content in England
a framework for a policy on business models and
decisions rather than information science ones.
Norwegian museologist Jon Birger Østby was
more prescriptive.What was needed, he said, were
examples of how museums can earn money. He
`We could take a look at the International Council
It declares that the museum is in the
service of society and of its development. It acquires,
conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits for
purpose of study, education and enjoyment material
evidence of people and their environment. It is a
fundamental task to transmit knowledge, cultural
experiences and enjoyment to the public and tradi-
tionally in the museum domain this has been done
through exhibitions.The rest of the knowledge
source has been kept for their own use...Times have
changed.We have to raise acceptance among the
museum decision-makers that they must open their
The Countryside Agency,
Department for Education
and Skills, DfES,The Value Chain
for Digital Learning Content
International Council of
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