DIGITALISATION OF CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS
University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The time we live in has three basic characteristics that determine its essence - the presence of an information society, the rapid development of information and communication technologies and the globalisation of all spheres of public life. Never before has information played such a crucial role in the development of human civilisation as it does today. The technological revolution and the emergence of a network society create a new economic, social and cultural environment. All this poses serious challenges to traditional cultural institutions. They have to protect and preserve cultural and historical heritage, but also to respond adequately to contemporary needs of society for a facilitated access to resources.
Contemporary information and communication technologies (ICT) provide free exchange of data, knowledge and ideas between people. Thanks to them, communication is fast and easy, independent of distance and time. It is precisely the digitalisation and the use of ICT that offer great opportunities to cultural institutions responsible for preservation and promotion of cultural and historical heritage sites.
The current paper presents the analysis and conclusions of a study on the subject of display of digitalised objects of cultural and historical heritage. The methodology applied for the realisation of the study includes instruments for observation, search, systematisation, summary and analysis of traditional as well as electronic information sources. As a result of the study the following significant challenges in the sphere can be outlined: lack of national strategies and policies, lack of standardisation and uniformity in the technical implementation of digitisation, lack of a single national portal for the promotion of digital content, existence of corrupt practices and conflict of interests in preparation and implementation of digitalisation initiatives, etc.
As a consequence of the study an innovative model for research and popularisation of the Bulgarian literary and document heritage is proposed. Its realisation will solve some of the above-mentioned problems and will lead to enhanced cultural dialogue, stimulation of cultural industries and promotion of innovations. The proposed model is an educational, scientific and cultural product targeted at a wide range of users, including disadvantaged groups.
The solution of the problems addressed in this paper is set as a priority in a number of European documents and favours the implementation of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program. The paper’s up-to-date recommendations are relevant to the scientific, cultural and educational environment as well as to the social sphere. The promotion of cultural heritage is perceived as one of the most successful approaches to establishing a dialogue between people, generations, civilisations.
Keywords: Cultural and historical heritage, digitalization, digital libraries.