DARIAH releases position paper on digitised cultural heritage

(press release originally published on the 29th of October 2020 here: https://www.dariah.eu/2020/10/29/dariah-releases-position-paper-on-digitised-cultural-heritage/

The Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) is happy to share with the wider community its position paper on digitised cultural heritage.

“We really can’t stress enough how important cultural heritage is for humanists,” said DARIAH Director Toma Tasovac. “Without digitised and born-digital cultural heritage, undertaking humanities research with digital methods would be practically impossible.”

Europe still faces significant challenges when it comes to the effective and efficient digitisation of our cultural heritage. With over 80% of Europe’s cultural heritage remaining to be digitised, there is an urgent need to re-think the European digitisation strategy in order to enable Member States to more effectively work together towards the European Commission’s ambitious, but no longer achievable, target of all European cultural heritage being digitised by 2025.

“Cultural heritage and research are traditionally seen as two separate sectors, yet the overlap and the need for tighter cooperation between the two is obvious”, Tasovac said.

For instance, a large proportion of Europe’s cultural heritage that has already been digitised is rapidly approaching its ‘sell-by’ date. Being ‘first generation’ or ‘legacy’ digitisation, it is no longer of a high enough quality for analysis using advanced digital humanities methods.

DARIAH’s position paper entitled “Cultural Heritage Data as Humanities Research Data” was submitted to the European Commission as part of the EC’s evaluation of the Recommendation of 27 October 2011 on Digitisation and Online Accessibility of Cultural Material and Digital Preservation (REC 2011/711/EU).

In the coming weeks, DARIAH plans to release a survey in order to collect feedback from both researchers and cultural heritage professionals on the topics discussed in the paper. To download “Cultural Heritage Data as Humanities Research Data: a DARIAH Position Paper”, click here.


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