background image
communication is the impact of institutional
or tematic deposits, based on the OAI proto-
col. Many Italian research institutions have
made available an institutional OAI archive
to enable the submission of scientific publi-
cations produced within the institution.
However, academic authors' reactions to
OAI initiatives are cautious, and the docu-
ments collected are not numerous, especially
because electronic publications are still seen
to lack credibility. Among the Open archives
initiatives in Italy, the ERCIM project
(European Research Consortium for
Informatics and Mathematics, was the first to be
developed. Realised by the CNR Institute
IEI of Pisa, the project is gathering a collec-
tion of digital documents, searchable in
combination with the other archives of the
Networked Computer Science Technical
Reference Library (NCSTRL,
A growing phenomenon in Italian universi-
ties is the digitisation of learning materials
and lesson plans.This material (generically
called courseware) is increasingly being
included in the Web sites of professors and
departments, and in some cases is organised
Another priority for the BDI is the digitisa-
tion of musical heritage in State public libra-
ries, music conservatories, municipal libraries
and historical archives.
At the moment, the BDI is involved in seve-
ral projects including, among others, the
National Library of Turin, the Marciana
Library of Venice, the Estense Library of
Modena and the National Library of Rome.
The co-operative organisation is centralised
on a Steering Committee with experts and
representatives of Universities and Regions;
the Committee has the role of selecting the
projects submitted by state libraries, local
libraries, cultural institutions and universities
to be funded by MiBAC.The central admini-
stration of the BDI Project supports promo-
tion and co-ordination activities and provides
software for the database management and
implementation of the Web site, while the
libraries choose and index the material to be
digitised.The planned BDI portal will provi-
de an inventory of the ongoing digitisation
activities, while trying to avoid duplication.
During 2004, ICCU will be involved in the
integration of the BDI with Network turistico
culturale (NTC), approved by the
Interdepartmental Committee for the
Information Society.
Archives and museums have been building
digital collections, most of which are co-ope-
rative projects.The SAN project (Sistema
Archivistico Nazionale:
will build an information platform for the
national archives heritage, both to respond to
user needs and to optimise the data manage-
ment of the State archives throughout the
country.This platform, based on the ISAD
and ISAAR international standards for archi-
ves, on the OAI metadata protocol and on an
XML base, is in an experimental phase.
The Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la
Documentazione (Central Institute for the
Catalogue and Documentation, ICCD,
ex.html) has realised the SIGEC Sistema
Informativo del Catalogo Generale
(Information System of the General
Catalogue), which represents a reference
model in terms of the organisation of the
inventories and cataloguing of cultural herita-
ge objects. At the moment, efforts are being
made to integrate with the Risk Map of cul-
tural heritage
rischio00e.htm), an initiative that aims to
guarantee the protection of territory and
provide the Central Administration with tools
for scientific and administrative activities.
The SITIA project (Sistema Informativo
Territoriale Integrato per l'Archeologia,
focuses on the application of new technolo-
gies to the representation and management of
archaeological heritage, in order to prevent
the risk of loss and plan financial and admini-
strative initiatives. SITIA will allow an easy
information exchange between different
administrations and will also define the basis
on which the Italian Archaeological Map will
be elaborated.
Among the main national projects, the
Commando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio
aims to prevent crimes against
cultural heritage, prosecute these crimes, and
recover heritage items and objects of art.The
Commando utilises the databank of stolen her-
itage items, a large database which is updated
daily with regard to items removed in Italy
and items taken abroad through communica-
tions circulated by Interpol.There are cur-
rently 94,500 recorded events and descrip-
tions of approximately 2,200,000 objects
with more than 220,000 images in the data-
Universities in Italy have been involved, in
the past ten years, in the realisation of con-
sortia for digital library development.The
Universities Consortia have been specialising
in co-operative acquisition of digital resour-
and in the support of the creation of
digital content.
One of the biggest evolutions of scholarly
23Division of Carabinieri responsible for protection of
cultural heritage, at
24CILEA (, CIBER (Coordinamento
interuniversitario banche dati ed editoria in rete) del
CASPUR ( and INFER-CIPE (Italian
National Forum on Electronic Resources, Cooperazione
interuniversitaria per i periodici scientifici,
25The important CIBIT consortium
( brings together 24 Italian
universities and has prepared a digital library that con-
tains 253 classics of Italian literature. Digital Math Library
(, financed
under the Sixth Framework Programme of the European
Union, aims to digitise all the scientific literature of inte-
rest on the subject. Numerous entities are involved,
including libraries, universities, publishers, projects, and
national and international mathematical associations.
Initiatives limited to internal co-operation within indivi-
dual university institutions for the digitisation of printed
works are not lacking. In this case, the most important
projects in terms of resources used are those of the
Universities of Bologna
( and of
both managed by the universities' libraries systems.