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institution and in the co-operation with others. Because archiving is directly related to and
supports the processes of creating new products, re-use of material, research and editorial
work and much more.This view of the archive became particularly clear in the case of one
of the DigiCULT project partner, the House of World Cultures (see: On the radar).
"The archive is the event" House of World Cultures, Berlin
The House of World Cultures (HWC) is not a classical archive - even maybe being its
complete counterpart. Its mission is to promote and support a dialogue between Western
and non-western cultures. Since it was established in 1989 it has organised more than 6.000
exhibitions, concerts, readings, lectures and film screenings with artists in particular from
Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Yet, the HWC realised that in order to fulfil its mission in the digital environment it needs
to develop an archive that supports (1) organising new events and (2) creating virtual events
and presentations from the accumulated old and new material.This demands a complete
reorganisation of work:When a new event is prepared all information (texts on artists,
press/PR material, images, sounds, etc.) first needs to go into the archive and from there the
event will be organised, as well as a rich documentation of the event (images, recordings,
discussion results etc.) then brought into the networked archive.
Starting points for this reorganisation are two projects: and blue space: builds on the rich information base of the HWC on performing
artists from all over the world (as well as will include information from international
blue space is the archive turned into an event, a walk-through interactive
Sources: <> and <>
Archives outside the digital production chain
Traditional archives that today mainly hold and deal with non-current cultural objects
(i.e. not "born-digitals") are in a somehow different situation than institutions that are
directly involved in the digital production chain. A question only very few of them will
have to answer today is whether they should become "hybrid" at all, i.e. beside holding for
example historical films or images also start to collect, manage, make accessible, and preserve
"born-digitals". Because these "born-digitals" (and the related copyrights) mainly reside in
the digital storage of broadcasters, music companies, image agencies, and the like, who will
of course not delete their stocks.
The question with regard to the collections of traditional archives, as well as special
collections in libraries and museums, is how these treasures can be unlocked for the
opportunities of the information and knowledge society.To do this in a sustainable fashion
might by a task smaller or medium sized ALMs due to limited budgets, technological
capacity as well as lack of personnel with the necessary knowledge and skills cannot
accomplish. Results of the DigiCULT-study suggest that an appropriate strategy would be
to set up specialised organisations that support ALMs in developing and managing digital
collections (e.g. digitisation, collection management, licensing, etc.).This suggestion will be
followed up in the following chapter on new types of cultural heritage institutions.