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Thematic Issues

DigiCULT will produce seven Thematic Issues which build on the results of an expert round table on a selected topic, and provide additional information and opinions in the form of invited articles, interviews, and case studies. Other elements may include short descriptions of related projects, a selection of relevant resources or a glossary.

Thematic Issue 7: The Future Digital Heritage Space, December 2004

Open PDFThis report summarises the results of an expedition into the possible future of digital heritage in the next 10-15 years. It is based on contributions of researchers, heritage experts and professionals to a DigiCULT online forum as well as the project's ongoing research. The report is intended as a navigation tool for boards and directors of heritage organisations and research centres, IT project managers, and curators of digital collections, virtual exhibitions and environments. It cautions that the next waves of innovative ICT systems and applications may significantly shape and re-shape the digital landscape in which heritage organisations reside. For many organisations this could result in becoming 'blind spots' in an emerging ambient intelligence environment. As the places and roles of digital heritage in this environment need to be discussed and prepared, the report also gives recommendations which may be useful for ensuring the creation of a thriving and inclusive future digital heritage space
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Issue 6: Resource Discovery Technologies for the Heritage Sector, June 2004

Open PDF. Image © DigiCULT ConsortiumThis sixth Thematic Issue concentrates on how resource discovery technologies can ensure that the high value, authoritative information of heritage institutions is effectively found, retrieved, and presented to Internet users. With a key focus on the user, the Issue looks into user-driven approaches in interactive resource discovery. Expert opinion suggests that offering easy to use services and tools able to integrate the research and learning needs and behaviours of their users may form one of the heritage institutions' answers to the dominance of general-purpose global search engines. However, along with ensuring state-of-the-art interactive access and presentation, the heritage sector will also need to raise the public's awareness to, and visibility of, its online resources in a more profound manner. Otherwise it faces the risk that the large investment required in creating digital collections, rich descriptive metadata, study and learning material, will fail to realise a high return - in terms of interest and appreciation, discovery and valuable uses of heritage resources.
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Issue 5: Virtual Communities and Collaboration, January 2004

Open PDF. Image © The National Archives, UKThis fifth Thematic Issue concentrates on the question of how heritage institutions might benefit from fostering virtual communities related to core activities such as exhibitions, educational programmes or in support of scholarly communities. There is growing volume of evidence to suggest that cultural heritage institutions' adoption of virtual communities will broaden the reach, value and relevance of cultural heritage. The vision to link the collections and work of heritage insitutions with virtual communities promises to considerably change the way we access, communicate about, share our understanding of, and participate in the experience of cultural heritage. But, for most cultural heritage institutions, the challenge will be first to embrace the idea of co-operating with a (non-professional) online community, and then to nurture an evolving and thriving community that crosses the virtual as well as physical space.
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Issue 4: Learning Objects from Cultural and Scientific Heritage Resources, October 2003

Open PDF. Image © National Library of Ireland, DublinHow can heritage organisations improve their relevance for the education sector and lifelong learners in attractive, efficient, and sustainable ways? Simply displaying collection objects, considered useful for informal learning in some way or another online, will no longer do. A promising approach seems to be to develop learning objects, highly interoperable and reusable modular building blocks for e-learning content. Provision of such objects would also foster a much needed closer co-operation between the heritage and e-learning sectors.
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Issue 3: Towards a Semantic Web for Heritage Resources, May 2003

Open PDF. Image © Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The HagueWhat is the Semantic Web? What will it do for heritage institutions? And what is the role of certain languages, in particular XML and RDF? In short, the Semantic Web vision proclaims a Web of machine-readable data which allows software agents to automatically carry out rather complex tasks for humans. Key to realising this vision is semantic interoperability of Web resources. However, are there any incentives for heritage institutions to implement the necessary data infrastructure?
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Issue 2: Digital Asset Management Systems for the Cultural and Scientific Heritage Sector, December 2002

Open PDF. Image © Courtauld Institute of Art, LondonWill Digital Asset Management Systems become a "must have" technology in the heritage sector? Heritage institutions will increasingly find that they need highly efficient management systems to digitise collections, to provide enhanced access for scholars and learners, and to develop new marketing tools and revenue generators (e.g. through new products or licensing). Currently DAMS are not widely employed in the sector, however, they begin to enter the scene with larger-scale digitisation projects.
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Issue 1: Integrity and Authenticity of Digital Objects, August 2002

Open PDF. Image © Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, HilversumHow to preserve and proof the integrity and authenticity of digital objects? The challenge is most acute for e-archives that have a highly structured working relationship with public administrations, institutions or businesses. They need to be involved strategically in the management of the life cycle of the digital objects, to implement appropriate policies and working procedures necessary for the preservation and re-use of records, cultural objects, research results, and other assets.
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