The European Commission is evaluating one of the main policy instruments on digitisation: online access and digital preservation of cultural heritage material. The aim of this consultation is to gather the views of citizens, competent authorities in the Member States, national and regional cultural heritage institutions, international organisations, concerned stakeholder umbrella organisations. Your participation and feedback to this consultation will help the European Commission shape the appropriate policy framework and actions to preserve Europe’s valuable cultural assets and to give better visibility to its unique cultural diversity.
Europe’s cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, non-commercial galleries and museums have vast and rich collections, and it is important that they are not just stored in vaults but preserved for future generations and made accessible to the larger public. Furthermore, Europe’s monuments, historical buildings and archaeological sites face increasing threats related to natural disasters, accidents, pollution, mass tourism, vandalism or even deterioration over time. The accidental fire at Notre-Dame in Paris in April 2019 was only one tragic reminder of the risks faced by our most valuable cultural heritage assets, and thus of the need to urgently act in this domain.
Advanced technologies, such as 3D, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), bring unprecedented opportunities, today, to digitise cultural heritage, for preservation, conservation, restoration, research, as well as for a broader, more democratic online access and re-use by various sectors, such as tourism.
The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed once more the importance of enabling the cultural heritage sector to seize the opportunities provided by digital technologies. While some of cultural heritage institutions have managed to use these technologies and turn the crisis into new opportunities for creative expression, more engagement and expansion of audiences, others have been heavily affected, with significant loss of revenue.
It is thus essential to ensure that, in an age of a major transformation of the society and the economy, the cultural heritage sector is equipped with the best tools, resources, knowledge and skills to make the most of the digital transition.
As part of this process, the European Commission is evaluating one of the main policy instruments on digitisation, online access and digital preservation of cultural heritage material, Commission Recommendation of 27 October 2011 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation (2011/711/EU) (the “Recommendation”). The Recommendation contains a set of guidelines to Member States and cultural heritage institutions in order to foster the digitisation of cultural heritage material across Europe, to improve online and cross-border access to such content, and to contribute to its digital preservation.
The aim of the consultation is to gather views on:
a) the importance of digitisation and digital transformation in the cultural heritage sector and the ways of supporting such processes.
b) the relevance and future of the Recommendation referred to above.
Your participation and feedback to this consultation will help the European Commission to shape the appropriate policy framework and actions to preserve Europe’s valuable cultural assets and to give better visibility to its unique cultural diversity.
Depending on your answers, the questionnaire may take approximately 8 minutes.
Access the consultation here. Deadline for responding: 14 September 2020.