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54 DigiCULT
of the current buzzwords and technology terminol-
ogies that tend to constrain or biasedly define and
restrict the conversation'. In particular, what would
be required, besides global cooperation, funding, and
access to leading-edge hard- and software, is `creating
the need among the general public who must come
on board as wanting access to our data otherwise
we have no audience, no user base, and no ration-
ale for doing it all (other than it is fun sometimes and
leads insiders to gain new insight into the past)'. He
insisted: `Certainly, global access to all the wonder-
ful things that we will be creating is a noble goal, but
unless we can demonstrate that millions will demand
our content, demand new content, and demand new
functionality from our content (as from the down-
loadable music revolution; and the computer and vid-
eo game world), we will remain a quaint curiosity.
Likewise, unless our worlds become more sophisti-
cated, globally accessible, easily navigable, and linked
to multiple databases (that is, more than merely pret-
ty pictures of the past) we will not gain the attention,
the funding nor the credibility it will need to build
large libraries.'
Sabine Stadler, an Austrian social scientist and
documentalist, stated that the user-friendly infor-
mation society, providing equal, easy and transparent
access to information, has not as yet come into being.
With respect to heritage resources, she criticised the
fact that the existing digital collections and applica-
tions `are completely different... and do not refer to
any kind of personal attitudes of the user'. She sug-
gested that breakthroughs in RTD may be found if
inspired by `visions of a public on the Net, a space
in the Net and the interchange of users'. As she had
worked intensively on social conditions and develop-
ments in Eastern European countries, Stadler thought
that, with regard to a common European digital her-
itage space, a main limitation could be `that the new
member states are a terra incognita in the field of IT
and IT use for all, for the development as well as for
the collectors, users and researchers'. She called for a
dialogue to be established, `as the new Europe is the
enlarged one', and a major step for the next three
years would be to do `nothing else than let the East-
ern Europeans, Balts and Cypriots declare themselves'.
Dominique Delouis (CEO, Cultural Heritage On
Line, France) wanted to see in the next 10-15 years
`access to archives in a transparent way in his own
language for each European citizen'. He envisaged
that this will be achieved `through sophisticated lan-
guage technology making translation on the fly, tak-
ing into account the context of the archive by using
large existing archives and already existing transla-
tions (alignment techniques)'. A main limitation for
this vision Delouis saw as the `low level of technolo-
gy used in the large archiving system which uses old
standards such as MARC'. However, he considered a
major step towards this vision to be the setting up of
`a European IP [Integrated Project] on multilingual
access to the European archives, a kind of Language
MINERVA project with test-beds', which he expect-
ed could be operational in 2010.
A participant from the archival domain hoped for a
much stronger `linking of different languages in com-
mon subjects catalogues and finding aids', which in
the coming years would make it easy, for example,
`to find all books relating to "Renaissance bridges"
independently from the language of the require [sic]'.
Generally, he considered language processing
to be a `very complex matter, and clustering does
not give very reliable results. The same can be said
about OCR in manuscripts or also in ancient edi-
tions'. Improvements in clustering analysis for content
indexing and OCR techniques were viewed by the
archivist to be still important RTD issues. Howev-
er, for multilingual services to materialise, also span-
ning archives, libraries and museums, he thought that
`an institutional cooperation framework must be cre-
ated by the European Commission'. He suggested
that `all mentioned aspects should be defined within
5 years, any other planning has to wait for medium-
range results'.
Another participant from the archival domain
thought that current major barriers to achiev-
ing intelligent distributed systems were `confusion
between data and metadata (and how they are han-
dled); groups continuing to turn to dated technol-
ogies such as Z39.50; continued over-reliance and
bending of DC [Dublin Core]'. As the way for-
ward, the archivist suggested the use of concepts
and technologies that are `all within our grasp', such
as `greater use and implementation of the CIDOC
CRM; acknowledgement that interoperability can be
obtained without common data structures; increased
reliance on multi-lingual thesauri and moves away
from flat file terminology lists; and greater use of
XML-based exchange protocols.' What could be
achieved over the next 10-15 years the archivist con-
sidered to be `semantic markup that is a common as
HTML is today'.
Gavan McCarthy (Director, Australian Science and
Technology Heritage Centre, University of Mel-
bourne) suggested that `open, complex network
concepts based on contextual entities (people, organ-
isations, concepts, functions, places, events etc.) show
enormous promise for the archive world'. Through
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