Digital Heritage managements
About the session:
The session will address several management related topics regarding digital heritage. How digital heritage creates new forms of management and preservation practices and produces new types of (intangible/tangible) heritage will be in focus.
Session organisers: Torgrim Sneve Guttormsen & Joel Taylor (NIKU/Gettys Museum)
Carlotta is a PhD candidate, within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN Action CHEurope – Critical Heritage and the Future of Europe.
1. Shaping digital cultural policies: Europeana as a medium and a driver of cultural heritage institutions’ digital turn.
Europeana, the European platform for digital cultural heritage, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. It is, therefore, the moment to analyse what it has accomplished and its more profound impact on the digital transformation of European cultural heritage institutions.
Europeana today aggregates over 57.6 million digital objects from thousands of institutions, representing the most extensive and significant digital cultural project and driver of digitisation in Europe. Being more than a digital service, Europeana is the combination of political, cultural, economic and technological forces. It was launched in 2008, as the European Commission’s response to the call by six heads of states for the creation of a unified European digital library. The service is run by the Europeana Foundation, a non-profit organisation that coordinates the participation of heritage institutions.
This work will analyse the double role of Europeana as a product of European cultural policies and as a key actor in the development of digital cultural policies affecting the cultural heritage sector’s digital transformation in Europe and, potentially, worldwide.
This paper firstly analyses how Europeana has been conceived as a political and cultural product, through the joint action of cultural heritage institutions, the European Commission, and the member states. By analysing the development of the platform and the Foundation, the paper then analyses how Europeana has shaped the digital cultural heritage in Europe, acting on the one hand as an advocate of cultural institutions towards the European Commission, and on the other hand, as the provider of a standardised metadata structure for describing heritage
Shuyi Yin is a preservationist, architect and researcher. Yin is currently a Ph.D. student in Historic Preservation at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) and Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS).
2. Preservation of The Memories of War Destroyed Monuments: Digital Reconstruction (2011-2016)
Since 2011, the Syrian Civil War has caused massive destruction of cultural heritage. In comparison to the few on-the-ground protection actions, efforts have been put on the broadcasting and documentation of cultural heritage destruction through social media, remote sensing, and especially digital reconstruction of the destroyed monuments. This joint deployment of technologies within the context of war and in the name of
“preservation” is unprecedented. These phenomena have raised some important questions: How do we preserve the memories of the destroyed monuments? How can we conceptualize the phenomenon of digital
reconstruction of the destroyed monuments? And what does reservation mean within the context of war and contemporary digital environment?
This study focuses on the conceptualization of the digital reconstruction of war-destroyed monuments, which I call it “virtual monument”. The presentation first introduces the cases of the digital reconstruction of destroyed monuments of the Temple of Bel and Krac des Chevaliers, which are two UNESCO World Heritage monuments destroyed during the War from 2011-2016. After a brief examination of the definition of virtual heritage and actions related to digitally-reconstruction of cultural heritage to show the proliferation of joint efforts and to reveal a larger global network. Finally, It discusses the relationship between the destroyed physical monument, digital reconstructed monument and the public observers. It shows how virtual monument as a storage media along with the contemporary digital environment connect the “virtual monument” to the person who is observing it and further mediates how the public understands the physical monument and its destruction.
Keywords: digital reconstruction, memory, storage media, war destruction, virtual monument
Ermias Beyene Tesfamariam,
3. No digital heritage without FAIR digital data – The ADED project – establishing a Norwegian infrastructure for archeological data
In archeology, a major issue the last 10-15 years has been to rescue, preserve and give access to the data sets from archeological excavations. The EU infrastructure projects, ARIADNE and now ARIADNE Plus are a driving force in this work. Still there is a huge number of data sets, which has been definitely lost or is not accessible or reusable. For the available datasets there are only weak links between the excavation and the data sets on the one hand and the museum collections (find repositories), site and monument registries and publications on the other. To strengthen the FAIRness (https://libereurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/LIBER-FAIR-Data.pdf) of the datasets such links have to be strengthened or at least established.
In Norway a new infrastructure project, ADED (Archaeological Digital Excavation Documentation) was launched in 2018 with the objective to create a repository for data sets and establish the aforementioned links. The outcome will be an integrated part of the MUSIT system, a collaboration between the University Museums. In this infrastructure,
the CIDOC-CRM set of conceptual models are applied as semantic glue to facilitate crossproject queries based on geography and metadata as well as linking Norwegian excavation data with archaeological information from other countries in Ariadne. So far, most archaeological excavation in Norway have been conducted by the university museums, but in the coming years the counties will conduct more surveys and smaller excavations. Therefore the ADED will include the data flow from fieldwork to permanent repositories at the museums and Riksantikvaren (the site and monument register Askeladden).
The presentation will use this concrete project as a basis for discussing the applicability of CIDOC-CRM to the challenge of increasing the FAIR-ness of the datasets.
Kristina Dziedzic Wright
Visiting Researcher, Centre for Museum Studies, University of Oslo
PhD Researcher, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
David K. Wright
Associate Professor, Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo
4. The Kenya Heritage Resource Information System: A Case Study in Heritage Management from Africa
Kenya currently hosts the longest record of human technological evolution in the world, spanning some 3.3 million years. As the national repository of both natural and cultural heritage, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is responsible for promoting the country’s heritage and conservation efforts and leading the way for developing cultural tourism and public outreach using this heritage. In fulfilling this function, the Earth Sciences Department at the Nairobi National Museum, NMK’s flagship institution, recently led an initiative to standardise digitisation practices at the museum and make its collections more accessible to local and international audiences. Heretofore, the collection records
have been maintained on paper sheets, stored on shelves and in cabinets in the Earth Sciences Department of the Nairobi National Museum. This proposed conference presentation for the Digital Heritage Management session will discuss the creation of the Kenya Heritage Resource Information System (KEHRIS) and recent digitisation of 10,000 artefacts and specimens from the NMK archaeology and palaeontology collections.
This presentation will report on the development of KEHRIS from its inception to the present day and reflect on the museum’s goals for heritage management using the spatially integrated database. There is currently a pressing need to improve access and enhance conservation goals within museums collections across cultural heritage institutions in Africa; KEHRIS is a vision to bring the past into the future at the National Museums of Kenya using innovative technologies and communication tools. With the proliferation of cellular phone-based
infrastructure across Africa, which has outpaced the construction of physical infrastructure, KEHRIS has the capacity to bridge the divide between communities and heritage. Project execution has progressed in fits and starts and in this talk we share the challenges in funding, successes and failures of the initial phases. Digital heritage management in the 21st century in Africa has great potential to revolutionise information dissemination, connecting the past to present for local communities.