Digital meets Culture
Export date: Sun Oct 17 3:47:52 2021 / +0000 GMT

INDICATE project: best practice handbook now online

It is now available for free download the INDICATE handbook: Best practice for applying research pilots and use case studies to digital cultural heritage.

Download the handbook: PDF, 6,35 Mb

This publication is part of a wider initiative aiming to contribute to the implementation of a federated e-Infrastructure dedicated to the research community on Digital Cultural Heritage.

Offering an integrated presentation of the best practices encountered along the project, this Handbook originates from the many efforts made by the whole sector in the last years and by many people who are working in this direction.


Table of Contents

Foreword by Rossella Caffo

Introduction by Antonella Fresa

Executive Summary

1. Background

    1.1 Research Pilots

   1.2 Research Use Case Studies

   1.3 Sources of Content for the Handbook


2. Research Pilots

   2.1 Semantic Search Research Pilot

   2.2 E-Collaborative Digital Archives Research Pilot  


3. Research Use Case Studies

   3.1 Long-Term Digital Preservation

   3.2 Virtual Exhibitions

   3.3 Geo-coded Digital Cultural Content (GCC)


4. Research Pilot and Use Case Study Best Practices

   4.1 Use research pilots to test new approaches in DCH

   4.2 Use focused surveys and workshops for use case studies in DCH


5. Conclusions


6. Glossary


From the Foreword by Project Coordinator Rossella Caffo:

INDICATE (International Network for a Digital Cultural Heritage e-infrastructure) is one of the results of ten years of cooperation among the Ministries of Culture in Europe in the field of digitisation of cultural heritage.

There are two pillars for digital cultural heritage on which the European cultural institutions have undertaken:

  • The digitization and long term preservation of digital cultural content

  • The (re)use of and access to digital cultural heritage.

They now reached a valuable experience in these sectors thanks to the national efforts for the creation of culture portals and to the role of Europeana as single access point to the European digital cultural heritage.

However in 2009 some European ministries of culture launched a new line of projects dedicated to the exploitation of the potential of digital infrastructure for research (e-Infrastructures) in the field of cultural heritage. In fact, while the use of e-infrastructures has increased in recent years, many cultural organisations remain unaware of the services provided by existing e-infrastructures at the national and international level and their huge potential.


This handbook illustrates the best practices identified within INDICATE for semantic searching, e-collaborative digital archives, long term digital preservation, virtual exhibitions, and geo-coded digital cultural content. It represents a concrete contribution for the development of a vision for DCH shared by cultural institutions and e-infrastructure providers developed thanks to the efforts of all INDICATE partners and contributors.


From the Introduction by Project Technical Coordinator Antonella Fresa:

This Handbook has been produced in the frame of the INDICATE project as a synthesis of the results and the lessons learnt through this work.

The INDICATE project run for about 2 years, from September 2010 to October 2012 with the participation of 10 partners from 8 countries, all belonging to the Mediterranean region: Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia and Greece from the European Union plus Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

The aims of the project were to run pilots, use case studies, workshops and conferences around the theme of the use of the e-infrastructures for the digital cultural heritage.


The starting point of DC-NET and INDICATE is that, in order to implement and deliver the new services, the instrumental use of the e-infrastructures can be very valuable for the cultural sector. In other words, it can be said that the cultural sector can take advantage of the work already done by the other sciences in developing and implementing an extremely powerful connectivity infrastructure delivered by the National Research and Educational Networks (NREN) together with shared high-performance computing and storage facilities offered by the National Grid Initiatives (NGI). The European and international federations of NREN (GEANT) and NGI (EGI, the European Grid Initiative) represent a fantastic opportunity for the heritage sector to make a big step ahead towards the digital dimension of its cultural research.

At the same time, the e-Infrastructure community can discover in the cultural heritage a sector that has a strong demand of its services, opening new opportunities of exploitation of their existing facilities.


INDICATE has moved ahead in this complex environment, developing a practical gateway that allows the museums, libraries and archives to have access to the grid in a very simple manner, experimenting the use of the cloud as a mean to empower semantic research on cultural databases, studying how advanced services for long term digital preservation, virtual exhibitions and the geographic information systems applied to cultural heritage data can be enabled by the adoption of e-Infrastructure facilities.

The results of these studies and pilot experiences are presented in this Handbook, that intends to be just the start of a long and promising work.


INDICATE official website: