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collected information could then be used to discuss those issues that demand a co-ordinated
approach across all Member States, such as intellectual property rights or interoperability
issues.This kind of work would be co-ordinated by a central European body consisting of
cultural heritage representatives of all Member States.
Therefore, the European Commission as well as the Member States should actively create
a cultural heritage information exchange infrastructure to facilitate communication in both
directions, from the regional level to the national and international levels, and downwards,
from the EU-level, to national and regional co-ordination bodies.
The DigiCULT navigator to a methodological approach to digitisation
In the Information Society, in the long run, only the digital will survive in the memory of
a nation as it is more readily available and accessible than analogue cultural heritage resources.
Therefore, creating digital material and e-content to be delivered over global networks is a
primary responsibility for national governments.Yet, the increasing volume of cultural heritage
material on the one side, and the limited financial and human resources on the other, demand
that a highly selective approach be taken in digitising cultural heritage material.
To use the limited resources most effectively, national governments are challenged to
develop sound models and guidelines to ensure a comprehensive and systematic approach to
releasing the value of (digital) cultural heritage resources. Providing such models, guidelines
and examples of best practice as basic decision-making tools for cultural heritage institutions
is the prime responsibility of national governments. National governments, as the primary
financiers of cultural heritage institutions, are in a key position to significantly influence the
quality of the projects intended to increase the value of cultural heritage resources.
Creating a critical mass of digital cultural heritage contents demands a co-ordinated
approach to avoid wasting resources. Such co-ordination mechanisms are currently
established as part of the eEurope initiative. In April 2001, Member State representatives
agreed to co-ordinate national digitisation policies to avoid a duplication of effort, known
as the "Lund principles". Nevertheless, it will take the mutual effort of European, national
and regional authorities to guarantee an effective information exchange bottom-up, from
the regional to the national and European levels and top-down, from the European bodies
to the national and regional levels.
However, all national governments are not equally endowed with financial resources to
support methodology development and to provide guidelines. It therefore falls to the
responsibility of the European Commission to ensure that there is adequate information
available for use on a country by country basis.
The European Commission should fund a study of best practice information on
digitisation and ensure that this is readily available to ALMs Europe-wide.
National governments and regional authorities should use their position as
primary financiers to encourage best practice in cultural heritage institutions.
They should strive for the highest quality to be delivered by projects.
To do so, national governments should consider the following strategies:
support the development and publishing of methodologies as a basis for institutional
digitisation policies,
publish and demand compliance with technical and quality standards and guidelines,
evaluate cultural heritage institutions on the basis of their adherence to these best
practice guidelines,
VI NATIONAL POLICIES & INITIATIVES
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