Basic Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Professionals in the Use of Information Technologies - How can ICT support cultural heritage?

In recent years, digital heritage has begun to transform the process of re-creating and understanding the past. This new field, which integrates the traditional expertise of heritage management, museology, history, and archaeology with the powerful new tools of digital information technologies, has tremendous potential for addressing the new challenges and concerns of the heritage sector in the 21st century.

Within the heritage and historical disciplines, the past is no longer only the domain of specialised scholars, but is also seen as a resource for the economic development of local communities and regions, a medium for cultural identity and cross cultural communication, an edifying destination for cultural tourists, and a focus for educational enrichment. At the same time, the digital information and communications technologies (ICT) have produced a wide range of applications for collecting and processing historical data, documenting and monitoring the physical conservation of objects and monuments, visualising historic structuresand environments, and creating interactive information networks that can link professionals and scholars with students, museum-goers, and interested amateurs. The integration of heritage with digital technology has already shown the potential for greatly enhancing many aspects of the research, management, and public involvement in the material remains of the past.

However, it is important to understand that ICT is a complex field whose contribution to cultural heritage can only be realised if it is utilised in effective, sustainable ways.
It cannot be considered an immediate or magical cure-all.
Cultural heritage
professionals must understand what ICT can do, and in which situations or contexts it is most effective. With the rapid development
of digital applications for historical researc and public heritage presentation, the integration of digital technologies into the field of cultural heritage must be undertaken with the full awareness of their potential uses and effects
In the light of this, the Interactive Studio AB has published a booklet intended to offer cultural heritage professionals important examples of how emerging digital applications and methods can serve their wider needs.
The booklet provides a basic introduction to six major areas in which ICT can, if appropriately and effectively utilised, make a contribution to the enhancement of cultural heritage for both professionals and the general public:
• Intellectual and Physical Access
• Documentation and Site Recording
• Multiple Interpretive Contexts
• Preservation of Authenticity
• Balancing Visitorship with Conservation
• Facilitating Public Participation
You can read the whole booklet by following the link on the left. 

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