Presentations of the workshop “Heritage Collections in the Digital Future” in Barcelona, 28th June 2011.

Posted: 28-06-2011 Topics: Cultural Heritage

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Heritage Collections in the digital future

Workshop – Barcelona, Tuesday 28 June 2011

Chaired by Graham Jefcoate, chair of the Steering Committee Heritage Collections and Preservation.

During this workshop the changing definitions of heritage and special collections in the “digital future” have been considered:

·       What will “heritage” materials be in the future and how will we collect, record and preserve them?

·       What will the target audiences be and how will we make heritage materials accessible to them?

·       What are the priorities for promoting, marketing and advocating for heritage collections, now and in the future, as the emphasis shifts from physical to digital?



– Ivan Boserup

The Cultural Heritage of Research Libraries – A Moving Target (presentation in pdf)

New media and new ways of working and communicating of scholars and all other persons involved in producing cultural heritage material, compell research libraries to devise new ways of acquiring, preserving, and communicating such material. In this context, I will briefly discuss the results of the survey among LIBER libraries regarding the challenge of “born digital material”, which has been carried out in April 2011 by the LIBER Manuscripts Expert Group).

– Marco de Niet

Digital heritage in transition (presentation in pdf)

As digital heritage becomes more and more a strategic asset of cultural heritage institutions, the emphasis is shifting from the process of digitisation to the creation of value through digital services. In this presentation, the causes and effects of this transition will be discussed, together with some scenario’s for institutions to steer this transition.

Claudia Fabian

The shift of value between physical and digital objects (presentation in pdf)

Based on the experiences in the Bavarian State Library – involved in a number of mass digitisation exercises since more than five years and having built up a digital collection of 500.000 titles – the paper discusses the impact of digitisation on traditional functions and services in the area of cultural heritage materials taking as a basis for comparison the genuine functions of a library in mediating between collections and readers. The paper also hints at the new duties emerging in the care for digital objects and tries to sketch a middle-term scenario for library activities in caring for and promoting cultural heritage.

– Sophie Ham

Value for money. A new framework to analyze the “value-shift” (from analogue to digital and back again) for heritage collections. (presentation in pdf)

While building and preserving the Digital Library, the relation between analogue and digital collections deserves special attention. Several digital collections are in fact derivatives of the analogue collections: the digitized collections. In those cases it’s important to consider the values of the two versions of a collection as a whole, for the values of those collections do not stand alone.

The KB, National Library of the Netherlands, has developed a framework that provides a quantitative foundation for value assessment. The presentation “Value for money” shows how the value of a digitized collection depends on its physical equivalent and vice versa. The ultimate consequence of the analysis could be, that some of the analogue collections will be devaluated by digitization, while some of the digitized collections could turn out to be not valuable enough for digital preservation.

The framework not only provides a base for preservation-strategies and risk-analysis, but can also be used as a guide when prioritizing digitization projects.

Jackie Dooley (OCLC)

Special Collections in Our Digital World. The Future is now. (presentation in pdf)

A 2009 survey of special collections and archives in the US and Canada shows that digitization of special collections and increasing user access to those collections are of critical importance to research libraries.


– Anders Toftgaard

From shelves to servers – and back again. Mass-digitisation of cultural heritage and the challenge of metadata (presentation in pdf)

If the epitome of the European Renaissance is the individual figure of Francis Petrarch rediscovering the letters of Cicero by browsing the shelves of the capitular library of Verona, the epitome of the “New Renaissance” wished for by the European Commission’s high-level reflection group (or “Comité des Sages”) would be API’s locating digital objects for search-engines. Consequently, within the library domain, data-intensive scientific discovery ultimately depends on the quality of metadata. The present paper will introduce the Danish National Library’s partnership with a private partner, Proquest, concerning mass digitisation of Early Danish and other European books within the framework of the database Early European Books. Mass-digitisation, it turns out, is not simply a question of creating digital copies of well known cultural artifacts but a question of providing and producing metadata. A welcome (but not inexpensive) occasion for a library, such as the Royal Library, to become even better acquainted with its collections.

Marian Lefferts

The Place of Bindings in Book History and Bibliography – Report of a meeting

The Place of Bindings in Book History and Bibliography: Resources and Research is a conference presented by Ligatus, CERL, and the Bodleian Libraries, Centre for the Book (Oxford, 9 June 2011). The conference is divided into three sections, one concentrating on multilingual terminology for describing bindings, the second on online resources for recording the detail of bindings, while in the third section Scott Husby and Nikolas Sarris will present on recent research in the history of bindings. The conference is followed by a closed meeting on 10 June 2011, where eminent experts in the field will discuss the potential for collaboration, for creating integrated access to electronic resources and, more generally, the pre-requisites for fostering greater use of the historical evidence that book bindings have to offer. M. Lefferts give a short summary of the conference and will present the first outcomes of the closed meeting.