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Maximising the impact of a
nation's investment
With some delay in comparison to the cultural industries, European natio-
nal governments have acknowledged the importance of the culture heritage
sector as being a vital component in building a democratic Information
Society. As "guardians" of our rich cultural heritage and therefore potential
providers of digital content, cultural heritage institutions are considered an
important factor in the knowledge society, and the key to a treasure chest of
cultural resources that is simply waiting to be opened and used.
In the last few years, national governments all over Europe have started to
unlock that treasure chest. Building on the opportunities provided by digital
technologies to bring digital cultural heritage resources to the attention of a
far wider audience, they have launched large-scale digitisation programmes to
make digital cultural resources more easily and widely accessible. Substantial
resources have been spent on the creation and acquisition of digital material,
yet in many cases, without paying sufficient attention to future use and
maintenance of those digitised objects.
Bibel of Evert van Soudenbalch (central Netherlands), Utrecht, around 1460