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Digital heritage and cultural content

Digital heritage and cultural content is one of the five main areas for research and technological development under Multimedia Content and Tools - Key Action 3 of the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme. Work is aimed at expanding the contribution of libraries, museums and archives to the emerging culture economy, including economic, scientific and technological development. It is coordinated by the European Commission's Cultural Heritage Applications unit, DG XIII-E2, in Luxembourg.

Background to IST

The IST Programme is one of the five thematic programmes under the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development , 1998-2002. It brings together and extends activities under the former ACTS, Esprit and Telematics Applications programmes to provide a single, integrated programme reflecting the convergence of information processing, communications and media. The main objective of Key Action 3 - Multimedia Content and Tools - is to improve information products and services in support of linguistic and cultural diversity and to enhance education and training systems for lifelong learning.

Digital heritage and cultural content

There are three research priorities:

  • Ensuring integrated access to collections and materials held in libraries, museums and archives
  • Improving the operational efficiency of large-scale content holdings by means of powerful interfacing and management techniques
  • Preserving and accessing multimedia content of various types, including electronic materials and surrogates of physical objects

For the 1999 work plan , these are taken up in two main action lines:

Work will build on achievements under the Fourth Framework Programme addressing libraries, museums and related institutions and will attempt to encourage convergence in technical approaches and applications for the various cultural institutions and networked services.

This site provides information on FP5 activities in the areas of digital heritage and cultural content. It provides links to previous work of interest to cultural and memory organisations under the Telematics for Libraries sector and other RTD programmes.

The general context of Key Action 3 which included Digital Heritage and Cultural Content is available as a PowerPoint presentation.


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