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Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 891; doi:10.3390/su8090891

Sustainable Digitalization of Cultural Heritage—Report on Initiatives and Projects in Brandenburg, Germany

University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Academic Editor: Victor T. King
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 3 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
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Abstract

While digitalization opens up new possibilities for cultural heritage and tourism it also brings new challenges. Initiatives such as “Europeana”, an internet portal for cultural heritage within the European Union, support institutions with the display of their collections. National initiatives complement these efforts. This report describes initiatives and projects for generating and sustaining digital cultural heritage resources in the German state of Brandenburg. With the cultural heritage distributed throughout the state and managed by hundreds of institutions, the task of digitalization is a common challenge for all of these institutions. Digitalization and digital sustainability is limited by shortcomings in areas of human resources, knowledge and IT infrastructure. In light of these limitations, the cultural heritage community addresses challenges with an interdisciplinary approach. It is based on a collaborative model with four levels: (1) a statewide strategy of an interdisciplinary task force; (2) cooperative projects; (3) cooperative IT infrastructure; and (4) an overall coordination. The priorities are: (1) creating and displaying digital content; (2) establishing best practices and workflows; (3) developing cooperative infrastructures for sustainment. Since 2012, several projects have been implemented based on that collaborative model. More than 50 participating institutions benefited from cooperative planning, managing, digitizing and digital presentation. With regard to the third priority, the task force’s next step is finding solutions for digital preservation. Considering the lack of funding and resources in the cultural heritage sector, options for creating and sustaining digital resources are limited. Digital cultural heritage requires interdisciplinary thinking, cooperative initiatives, reliable IT infrastructures and additional funding. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural heritage; digitalization; digital preservation; cooperation; funding cultural heritage; digitalization; digital preservation; cooperation; funding
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Preuss, U. Sustainable Digitalization of Cultural Heritage—Report on Initiatives and Projects in Brandenburg, Germany. Sustainability 2016, 8, 891.

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