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DigiCULT
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(launched yearly) offer institutions grants to
cover up to 70% of the digitisation cost of
their projects.The variation in funding lev-
els from one year to another continues to
be a problem; nevertheless, the virtual com-
pletion of dispersed collections is becoming
reality. At the end of 2003, around 550,000
high-quality digitised pages of manuscripts
and 1.2 million pages of periodicals will be
available. Not only documents from big
library collections, but rare items from
regional museums and castle or monastery
libraries are being digitised.
T
he first programme originated in
1992-1993 when the first pilot CD-
ROM for the UNESCO Memory of the
World programme was prepared and pub-
lished in Prague. Routine production start-
ed in 1996 when the digitisation centre
was built in the National Library.The cen-
tre has since substantially expanded, thanks
to a long-term cooperation with AIP
Beroun Ltd (http://www.aipberoun.
cz/english/index.asp) who are considered
to be a co-founder of the programme, now
called Memoria (formerly known as
Memoriae Mundi Series Bohemica,
http://www.nkp.cz/o_knihovnach/English
/LPIS6.htm). Under this programme, old
manuscripts are digitised, supplemented by
rare printed books and historical maps.
T
he second programme, Kramerius
(http://www.nkp.cz/o_knihovnach/
English/LPIS7.htm), started routine work
in 2000. It is oriented to the digitisation
of the preservation microfilm produced in
order to safeguard acid-paper library mate-
rials, mostly older periodicals.
T
he data from both programmes are
stored and made available thanks to
funding from the third national pro-
gramme, Digital Library (http://www.
nkp.cz/o_knihovnach/English/LPIS4.htm),
concerning long-term storage of, and
access to, digital documents.
To mobilise the human and material
resources existing in the region.
To disseminate scientific information as
well as the results of research.
To facilitate communication between
centres having similar scientific interest.
I
n many cases, institutions from the cul-
tural and scientific heritage sectors still
have to be made aware of the need for
digitisation work and the challenges in
preservation and access.The network will
seek a mechanism to support a wide range
of initiatives to overcome these challenges.
South Eastern European counties, includ-
ing a number of associated states, risk
becoming casualties of the `digital divide'
not because of lack of access to the world,
but because their heritage is not accessible
in the electronic space.
T
he next Meeting will be held in
Belgrade in late May or early June
2004.The constitution of a body repre-
senting the network will be presented
there for agreement.
CZECH REPUBLIC
D
IGI
CULT R
EGIONAL
C
ORRESPONDENT
:
A
DOLF
K
NOLL
CZECH NATIONAL DIGITISATION
PROGRAMMES
A
lmost thirty important Czech cultural
institutions have already taken part in
two national digitisation programmes
coordinated by the National Library of the
Czech Republic (http://www.nkp.cz/
altnkeng.htm).The calls for proposals
W
ithin the Technology and Tools ses-
sion, a presentation of the
DigiCULT Technology Watch Report 1: New
Technologies for the Cultural and Scientific
Heritage Sector (http://www. digicult.info/
downloads/twr2003_01_low.pdf) was
delivered by Milena Dobreva and Nikola
Ikonomov. One of the symposium discus-
sions raised the issues of digitisation of sci-
entific and cultural heritage, where
Professor Jonathan Borwein (from the
Centre for Experimental and Constructive
Mathematics, Department of Mathematics,
at Simon Fraser University, Canada) and
Professor Julian Revalski (Institute of
Mathematics and Informatics) presented
their experience in digitisation of mathe-
matical heritage and the Digital
Mathematics Library project (http://www.
library.cornell.edu/dmlib/index.html).
T
he final discussion, entitled `Does
South-Eastern Europe need a net-
work in digitisation of Cultural Heritage?'
initiated the creation of the South-Eastern
European Network for Digitisation of
Scientific and Cultural Heritage; a network
which will be developed in the near future
and which issued its first document, The
Borovets Declaration. Participants agreed that
organisations in the region face common
problems and share common scientific and
cultural heritage.The knowledge and
experience of individual institutions should
be shared. It is very important to take
measures to increase communication and
the exchange of technological expertise,
standards and practical skills within the
region. Access to the experience of col-
leagues outside the region would also
help.The participants agreed that additional
effort should be made to respond to the
Action Plan envisaged in the Lund
Principles of the European Union (http://
www.cordis.lu/ist/ka3/digicult/lund_prin
ciples.htm).
T
he following issues were defined as of
crucial importance: