background image
I
NTRODUCTION
This is the second in a series of assessments of emerging technologies. The first
DigiCULT Technology Watch Report (TWR1) was released in February 2003. With
support from the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST)
Programme under the 5th Framework Programme The Digital Culture Forum (DigiCULT
Forum, IST-2001-34898) monitors and assesses research and technological developments
in and for the cultural heritage sector in Europe. This Technology Watch Report (TWR2)
provides information resources to enable heritage institutions to continue to develop
their uses of information technologies `to provide access to the riches of European
cultural heritage' as recommended in DigiCULT's 2002 report, Technological Landscapes
for Tomorrow's Cultural Economy.
The Technology Watch Reports are part of a suite of DigiCULT's deliverables, which
also include Thematic Issues, the DigiCULT.Info Newsletter and a participatory website
(http://www.digicult.info).They are all designed to provide the cultural heritage with
access to accurate, accessible information about current, near- and longer-term techno-
logical developments. In addition to examining the technologies DigiCULT reviews the
experiences of its institutions as they attempt to take advantage of newer technologies,
whether they be methodological, technical, or exploitative.The DigiCULT technology
assessments are designed to identify developments that could be deployed without further
work, those that would require further development or repurposing, and those that are
still in early stages of gestation but show promise.The Technology
Watch Reports offer accessible descriptions of new technologies,
suggest how these might be employed within different cultural
domains, indicate the implications and risks (e.g. social, organisa-
tional, financial) of adopting particular ones, and include case
studies demonstrating how a technology has already been used
even if on occasion only on a pilot basis.TWR2 examines tech-
nologies that improve interoperability between sectors, standards
that promote long term viability of resources, approaches that
support personalise experiences of the heritage, and those that
support access to shared spaces, and mechanisms that enable
curators and users of the heritage to participate in enriched real
and virtual environments. In the Introduction to TWR1 (2003)
we provided an overview of the processes DigiCULT uses to
select, evaluate, investigate, and present technologies.
Technological Landscapes for Tomorrow's Cultural Economy (2002),
recognised the cultural value and the financial potential bound
up in heritage collections.While the Lund Principles, adopted by
the EU Member States in 2001, stressed that access for the citizen
should be free of charge, at the same time, institutions recognise
Introduction
9
Seamus Ross / HA
TII
TWR2004_01_layout#62 14.04.2004 14:07 Uhr Seite 9