Bringing Our Cultural Heritage into the Digital Age

We have entered a period of time where social platforms are everywhere and everyone has the ability to share every type of information imaginable. Through the use of technology, EMC’s Information Heritage Program uses the concept of sharing information to help connect the world’s cultural gems with those who otherwise wouldn’t have access.  In my last post, Making History Available on Demand, I wrote about the historical instinct for preservation as well as several projects which relied on digitization to help researchers, avid historians and the larger public.

Another initiative called the Heritage Trust Project focuses on cultural institutions that are typically smaller in nature.  Three of these organizations are selected to receive cash grants each year. Interested institutions apply using Facebook. Then after an internal judging process, voting among the seven finalists is open to the general public.

Let’s meet the finalists and their projects (in alphabetical order):

  • Folk Arts Rajasthan: Creating a digital archive of the long-lost stories shared by elders that detail the Merasi cultural, mystic, and historic origins (New York, New York, United States & Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India)
  • Historical Outreach Foundation: Digitizing the catalogue and archive of the Oregon Military Museum photo archive (Portland, Oregon, United States)
  • History Miami: Conserving the South Florida Folklife Collections, which includes two- and three-dimensional works (Miami, Florida, United States)
  • Listen for Life: Digitizing 400 hours of video/audio content from over 40 cultures and 60 instruments (Oakland, California, United States)
  • Museum of the City of New York: Digitizing and providing free online access for up to 146 1960s garments from the celebrated collection of Costumes and Textiles (New York, New York, United States)
  • Nikkei Museum: Cataloguing and uploading 2000-4000 new images which tell the story of the treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War II (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Royal Institution: Digitizing lectures from leading British scientists since 1966 and making them available to the general public (London, England, United Kingdom)

I encourage you to visit the Heritage Trust Project site on Facebook to learn more about each of these projects and make sure to cast your vote by August 15 at 12:00pm EST.

You have the power to help digitize our global cultural heritage and bring it to the masses.

Heritage Trust Project

About the Author: Chris Goode