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Digitisation of the content of repository institutions

Digitisation of the content of repository institutions

Location of the initiative:

 SLOVAK REPUBLIC – key cultural institutions on national level


Relation to Strategy 21 Recommendations:

D9 - Use innovative techniques to present cultural heritage to the public, while preserving its integrity


Time span of the initiative:

2012


Brief description of the initiative:

Ministry of Culture is the managing authority of the initiative which overcomes previous individual attempts of single institutions and builds on centralized approach to digitisation within the cultural sector. The project “Digitisation of the content of repository institutions” encompasses the preservation and digitization of three and a half million objects of cultural heritage from the comprehensive network of local, regional and national repository institutions. The decisive role in this process is played by the Slovak National Library, Slovak National Gallery, Slovak National Archive, the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, Museum of SNP in Banská Bystrica, Slovak Film Institute and other specialized institutions, where digitisation workplaces and high-capacity data storages were created. In addition to the inherent activities of the digital conversion of heritage objects (through digital photographs, laser scanning and digital photogrammetry, generating 3D models, gigapixel shots and geodetic measuring), their safeguarding, bibliographic description and copyright protection, the project instigates also a number of related activities – mainly the diagnostics of the cultural objects’ state of preservation and their restoration. Where possible, the results of digitisation are implemented into simultaneously developed GIS systems. Digitalised cultural heritage from various institutions is accessible through the joint web portal www.slovakiana.sk providing the broad public with content from books and magazines, through paintings, photographs or sculptures to the whole buildings – castles, churches, museums and many others. Slovakiana allows a cross-sectoral search and study of the objects, offers links to external data sources or virtual tours, and it enables visitors to download digital objects in high resolution or to create individual digital collections for further use. It also serves as a national base for the Europeana portal.


Objectives of the initiative:

  • Digitisation of the content of repository institutions, archiving and provision of access to digital data
  • Improvement of the system of acquisition, processing and protection of content from the resources of repository institutions
  • Provision of public access to and creation.

Brief assessment of the initiative’s results:

Slovak project “Digitisation of the content of repository institutions” stands out from similar projects in other European countries not only for its scale, but more importantly for its complexity and the fact that it achieved to create one “aggregate” platform for digital content of dozens of cultural institutions from the whole territory of Slovakia. The joint web portal and centralised national registers of digital cultural heritage offer public access to digital content and additional on-line services, such as the possibility to purchase related electronic books, the opportunity for institutions to create virtual exhibitions, the possibility to request expert researches and also the opportunity to add information about cultural objects. Digitisation project creates a single common system for all institutions of culture sector with functions to manage their cultural content, upgrade their catalogue system and also use it for their "analogue" collection items. As a result, by the time it’s finalised the system will contain the complete database of cultural heritage safeguarded by repository institutions in Slovakia. This project enabled Slovakia to build complete infrastructure necessary for digitisation and storage of digitised cultural objects according to the highest standards. Production of high-quality digital images available electronically reduces the wear of fragile and easily damageable documents and objects. The aim of digitisation is not to replace the originals, but to ensure that cultural, information and educational organisations provide better services and increased access to their collections previously available only to the narrow group professionals. Digitisation has transported our cultural heritage into the sphere of the Internet thus enhancing various aspects of its importance for society, i.e. as a learning tool (e-learning), resource of creative industries, etc.


Online resources:


Contact:

Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic
Department of projects’ managing and monitoring
Intermediate Body OPIS
Erik Kriššák
Námestie SNP 33
813 31 Bratislava
Slovak Republic
erik.krissak@culture.gov.sk


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