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The experts participating in the DigiCULT study identified several challenges they think
a national cultural heritage policy should address in order to reach national policy
objectives.These challenges are:
the need for a diverse and multilingual approach to cultural heritage;
the need for a systematic, comprehensive and transparent methodology
to digitisation;
the need to integrate small cultural heritage institutions across the sectors
and in the regions;
the need for low-barrier access;
the need for an understanding of new target groups and markets;
the need for a methodology for future use of cultural heritage materials.
Although some Member States address some of the above mentioned challenges very
actively and rigorously, the experts participating in the study also sense the need for an
over-all vision to function as a "bracket", holding the various strategies together and
providing a focus for all national activities and initiatives. Such a vision would be of great
importance to cultural heritage institutions, as it would provide a frame of reference also for
institutional policies and action. Such a vision:
(re)defines the mission and core functions of archives, libraries and museums in the
emerging Information Society;
provides the criteria for a focused, goal-oriented and future-oriented digitisation
programme for cultural heritage resources;
establishes the framework for future decisions on cultural organisation;
and allows for the development of measurable indicators and quality criteria with
respect to digitisation practices, methodology and project documentation.
Consequently, there is a vital need for national visions and strategies for ICT
implementation and use in the cultural and scientific heritage sectors. Such visions would
serve as orientation guides for future development of both, the cultural heritage sector in
general and memory organisations in particular.
The following chapter addresses the challenges that have been identified by the
DigiCULT experts as important issues to be addressed by every national cultural heritage
policy. Ultimately, the goal should be to support actions and measures that aim at
sustainability. Only thus can national governments maximise the impact of their investment
in the cultural heritage sector.