NSK hosts programme closing “e-Culture”, Croatia’s 2019-2023 major digitisation project focusing on cultural heritage

Objavljeno 15.9.2023.

On 14 September 2023, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) hosted a special programme marking the closing of e-Culture, Croatia’s 2019-2023 major digitisation project focusing on cultural heritage. Having been funded by the European Union and run by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, the project was successfully completed through the Ministry’s close partnership with NSK, Croatian Radio and Television, Croatian State Archives, and the Museum of Arts and Crafts.

The logotype of “e-Culture”, Croatia’s 2019-2023 major digitisation project focusing on cultural heritage (left, upper half), and the logotypes of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, the project’s four partner institutions and EU’s funding programmes (lower half).

Launched as a result of Croatia’s signing the EU’s 2019 Declaration of cooperation on advancing the digitisation of cultural heritage and with the aim of developing the infrastructure required for the long-term preservation and wider availability of digital heritage, establishing systematic digitisation programmes in Croatia’s heritage institutions and making available related e-services, the project resulted in the setting up of a unique national information system which brings together in one place Croatia’s entire digital heritage, enables its long-term storage and preservation and makes it available to all Croatian citizens as well as to the international audience.

The homepage of the “eCulture” digital platform, set up as a result of Croatia’s 2019-2023 “e-Culture” project and bringing together in one place the resources in the collections of the institutions, organisations and other legal entities in the Croatian heritage sector.

Although the project is officially closed, the mission to safely pass on our national cultural heritage to future generations remains the source of our dedication, which, precisely owing to this project, has grown even stronger, pointed out Croatia’s Minister of Culture and Media Dr Nina Obuljen Koržinek, thanking everyone who took part in the project and contributed to the setting up of the eCulture digital platform.

Apart from an introductory address by Minister Obuljen Koržinek, the programme included addresses by the representatives of the project’s partner institutions – the Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević, Director of the Croatian State Archives Dr Dinko Čutura, Assistant to the Director General of the Croatian Radio and Television Marija Nemčić and Director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts Miroslav Gašparović.

The “e-Culture” project has opened up new opportunities for Croatian citizens to explore and discover heritage through digitally integrated collections of Croatian heritage institutions made available on a shared web portal, enabled safe storage of digital heritage in the cloud-based centralised national system and provided a platform for all the partner institutions to jointly contribute, in close collaboration with the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, to the promotion of the Croatian language, Croatian authors and Croatian culture and science through targeting both Croatian citizens and the users of Europe’s largest digital heritage platform, “Europeana”, said NSK Director General Dr Stričević, expressing special gratitude to the Ministry for enabling the project’s activities aimed at the advancement of digitisation and related long-term storage of resources in Croatia’s library collections and at the upgrading of the operations involving Croatian publishers in relation to the digitisation of procedures associated with the Croatian legal deposit system, thus making possible another step towards the development of the Croatian Digital Library system.

After a video presentation of the project’s results and the eCulture national digital platform, which enables the permanent storage and availability to researchers as well as to the wider public of resources in all formats – including audio, video and 3D formats – of all Croatia’s heritage institutions and organisations and legal entities partaking in the Croatian heritage sector, the programme attendees could try out and experience the platform first-hand through a special Augmented Reality exhibition eKultura, available on Google Play app store.