The European Union Member States and the European Commission have been developing a concerted action for digitisation programmes over the last three years. Its purpose is the development of digital content industries in a sustainable knowledge society and is based on the cultural and scientific knowledge resources that form the collective and evolving memory of their diverse societies.
The areas identified by the European community that are enhanced by cultural digitisation include:
• Support for cultural diversity
• Education and content industries
• Accessible and sustainable heritage
• The great variety and richness of digitized resources
The challenges faced by these agendas include:
• The fragmentation of different approaches
• A lack of simple and common access for citizens
• Intellectual property rights
• A lack of synergies between cultural and new technologies programmes
• Limited institutional investment and commitment
* See eEurope digitisation - The Lund Principles
The Jerusalem Conference on Digitization on Science and Cultural Heritage was convened by the Cultural Heritage Statutory Institutions in Israel. They include the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Archives, the National Jewish and University Library, Pais Council for Arts and Culture, Directorate for Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the Department of Public Libraries, the Council for Public Libraries, the Department for Museums and Visual Arts, ICOM Israel – the International Council of Museums, MALMAD – Israel Center for Digital Information Services, Meital – the Israel Universities Center for Learning Technologies, UNESCO Secretary in Israel, Division for Scientific and Cultural Agreements – MOFA, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Ministry of Science and Technology and the Jewish Agency for Israel have together initiated this action as members of the MINERVA project and representatives of Israel in the National Representatives Group of the European Union for policy of digitization of Science and Cultural Heritage.
The Jerusalem Conference on Digitization on Science and Cultural Heritage was
organised in concert by EVA, MINERVA and the Judaica Division of the Harvard College Library. On April 2004 the Cultural Networks, supported by the European Commission convened by MINERVA met in Florence. This meeting recognized the significance of the participation of the Cultural Networks in the Jerusalem Conference which was to host: MINERVA, EPOCH, PrestoSpace, CALIMERA, EVA and a representative of the CNR – National Council of Research (Italy).
The Jerusalem Conference on Digitizatisation of Science and Cultural Heritage:
1. Stresses the contribution of Israel participation in the EU NRG framework and in the MINERVA project for establishing in Israel an agenda for digitization of Cultural Heritage.
2. Highlights the fact that for many years, a substantial part of the Jewish People has lived in Europe and in doing so has significantly contributed to European heritage.
3. Indicated that the digitization of cultural heritage assets and the convergence and the expansion of broadband communications present a unique occasion for the worldwide integration of the Jewish people and their collective and evolving memory.
4. Calls for the development of a concerted policy for the digitization of Jewish cultural assets. It will enable their long term preservation; continuous access; and their re-incorporation in the contemporary life of worldwide Jewry as living assets re-creating Jewish culture in its variety and multi-faceted aspects.
5. Emphasizes that Israel, as a democratic country, should provide digital expression for cultural diversity. This expression will give voice to its cultural minorities and the historical and contemporary creativity of Arab, Druze, Islamic and Christian culture and other cultures and recognizes their tangible and intangible heritage.
6. The conference adopts the principles expressed in the Charter of Parma endorsed by the National Representatives Group at its meeting in Parma in December 2003:
Charter of Parma
The Charter of Parma is a strategic document approved by the National Representatives Group for digitisation during the meeting in Parma which took place the 19th November 2003 during the European Conference of Minerva.
This documents represents the natural consequence of one of the NRG's priorities: to strengthen the group mission, to obtain a political acknowledgements at the highest levels, to promote the adoption of the recommendations and guidelines produced.
The contents included in the Charter of Parma are summarized in ten points:
Intelligent use of the Internet
Intellectual property and privacy
Interoperability and standards
Inventories and Multilingualism
Relations with European and international institutions
Enlargement and co-operation
The Italian Presidency, through its National Representative, has presented this collective work to CAC, The Committee for Cultural Affairs of the Council of Ministers of the European Union last 27 October 2003.
The document has also been presented to the formal Council of Culture Ministers last 24 November 2003.
19 November 2003. Final version ( en - fr - de - it )
4 November 2003. Draft
7. The conference adopts the conclusions of the NRG convened by the Dutch Presidency in September 2004:
a. To strategically integrate [the coordination of digital heritage] with its economic sectors of reference (such as culture, education, tourism, technology, research…) their policies and programmes, their policy-drivers (institutions, industries, users, general public,…) and their objectives in the enlarged Europe, to effectively integrate regions with different know-how and experience.
The Conference calls to Israel’s Government to develop a national policy for digitization of Science and Cultural Heritage. This policy should build upon the sophisticated communication and technological infrastructures already in place. It should integrate the combined efforts of its statutory institutions, cultural heritage sector, ICT educational programs, broadcasting industry, eGovernment sector, and the ICT industry.
It should emulate the policy development activities currently taking place in the European Union and across the leading European countries while making an active contribution to these policies.
The conference calls to the Jewish Agency for Israel, the United Jewish Communities, the organizers of the Conference on the Future of Jewish Cultural Heritage in Europe, to foundations with an interest in Jewish Heritage and to Jewish communities worldwide to establish a global partnership for the renewal of Jewish cultural life through digitization and communication.
Jerusalem, October 12, 2004