method, or a way, to refinance for the modern and the younger documents, but what about
our maps and our records and documents of the early time and of the medieval time? You
have to think of your right to ownership and then you can look for refinancing your work
and all the services you did to your holding just to bring it over the time."
Asked whether there is a feasible model for the refinancing of archival material, the
"No, you see, it is just a new idea, because in former times we did it free of charge, but
now we have global budgeting, we have the duty of refinancing our work and, therefore, we
have to think what we can do to get money. And that means selling books, selling finding
aids and selling reproduction of seals or of photos, copies of films or videos.That is the
common way, but (...) our documents are unique, we are sometimes monopolist and
therefore we have to use these rights, because storing these holdings is very expensive."
(DigiCULT ERT, Berlin, July 5, 2001)
Therefore, also cultural heritage institutions do not see to be active commercially as part
of their mission or "core business", there is one clear reason they should - and actually do -
think of exploiting their holdings:To generate revenues in order to cover at least a part of
the total cost of ownership in holding their collections and all the related activities (e.g.
exhibitions, catalogues, educational products).
Impact of the pressure
Results of DigiCULT Online Delphi indicated, that the pressure to "go commercial"
seems to have some impact. Although the results are by no way statistically representative,
they give some indication that experts today really expect a kind of "cultural change" in
cultural institutions, that traditionally were not seen to be market-oriented, or even able or
willing to think commercially.
Of the 62 experts who participated in the second round of the Online Delphi, 51
answered the questionnaire on exploitation and services.This questionnaire included 12
statements with the options: yes, no, or not clear.
With regard to the results it should be added that in the participant category "Cultural
Industries" there were only two experts. Most participants classified themselves in the
categories that are related to the ALM sector (32 experts), university institutes and research
centres (16), governmental organisations as well as professional associations, councils,
commissions etc. (11).
The following results show that the larger proportion of experts expected to see a move
of cultural institutions in the direction of being more commercially oriented.
5) For a more detailed description of the experts participating in the DigiCULT Online Delphi, see Chapter X, Methodology.
Cultural institutions will increasingly charge for digital
services they traditionally have provided for free
Cultural institutions will develop new services/products
and market them commercially
Cultural institutions will find new profitable ways to
make use of their intellectual capital (professional
knowledge and skills)
Archives with audio-visual content (e.g. photography,
music, video) will be able to develop commercially
successful business cases