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V I I . 4
M a i n o r g a n i s a t i o n a l c h a l l e n g e s : A rc h i ve s ,
L i b ra r i e s , M u s e u m s
In this section an overview of major challenges for memory institutions, archives,
libraries, and museums will be provided. Drawing on opinions gathered in the Digi-CULT
Study, experts expect the memory institutions to adapt their intellectual capital
(infrastructural and human capital) to the challenges indicated in the following
Archives: From "storing objects" to the management of the life cycle of digital /
digitised products
Libraries: From "reading room" to digital information service centre
Museums: From collections to narrative connections and new experiences
In the following sections, these challenges are briefly described to provide an overview of
major shifts within the sector. For each type of institution,
first, representative answers from an expert will be reproduced to the following
questions:"Has your core business changed / expanded, and if yes, how has your
core business changed?" and "What changes in your core business do you foresee
within the next five years?"
second, major developments and challenges ahead will be briefly presented,
third, additional information provided in separate boxes to highlight certain aspects
of the developments or challenges.
Archives: From "storing objects" to the life cycle management
of digital/digitised objects
Has your core business changed/expanded, and if yes, how has it changed?
"The core business of the archive today is primarily to join the production of documents within the
organisation.To implement guidelines concerning preservation of information at the earliest possible
moment, sometimes even before it's created."
What changes in your core business do you foresee within the next five years?
"As all information today is created in digital environment the knowledge of IT and management
has to be up-to-date among archivists.The dialog with the organisation will concern policy-making
and planning rather than paper quality etc."
Gertrud Nord, Parliament Archives, Swedish Parliament, DigiCULT Delphi, May 21, 2001
Archives involved in the digital production chain
Some archives have come very far in adapting to the "digital revolution" in their working
environment, i.e. they actually collect, manage, make accessible, and preserve "born-digitals"
and digitised objects on a broad scale. Particularly, these are institutions for which it is
mandatory to do so, e.g. supporting archives of public administrations, and other archives
that have to support institutions that rapidly turn to create products in digital form (e.g.
archives of broadcasters).These archives have a highly active working relationship with the
organisations they serve, and therefore are involved strategically in the management of the
life cycle of digital products (i.e. the question of long-term access/preservation is posed
from the start).
Archives that are today involved in the digital production chain exemplify that "the
archive" in the digital environment becomes the hub for most activities within an