Outcomes of the consultation on the Plan for the Digitalization of Cultural Heritage
The National Plan for the Digitalization of Cultural Heritage
The process of building a solid national digital infrastructure also depends on Italy's ability to structure its cultural heritage, increasing its potential demand and enhancing the accessibility of resources.
Based on this context, the leading Institution for the digitization of cultural heritage – the Digital Library of the Ministry of Culture – has coordinated the design of the National Plan for the Digitization of Cultural Heritage. The document – resulting from the exchanges and discussions between various cultural institutions - embraces a strategic vision of the Ministry of Culture for the promotion and setting up the digital transformation process for the Italian cultural heritage in 2022-2026. The National Plan for the Digitization of Cultural Heritage aims to create a strategic - intellectual and professional - background to achieve the objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). It also represents a useful methodological and operational reference for all institutions and cultural operators, both public and private, who share its vision.
The participatory process on ParteciPA
The National Plan for the Digitalization of Cultural Heritage is a natural result of exchanges and discussions between various cultural institutions. Before releasing the final version of the Plan, this need was represented through a participatory public consultation process with all the subjects directly involved in its implementation (Museums, Archives, Libraries, Central Institutes, Training and Research organisations, etc) on ParteciPa, the Italian Government’s platform dedicated to public consultation and participation processes.
The public consultation “National Plan for the Digitization of Cultural Heritage - For a digital transformation of the cultural ecosystem” is the result of the collaboration between the leading Institute for the digitization of cultural heritage – the Digital Library, the Plan’s promoter - and the Office for Administrative Innovation, Skills Development and Communication of the Department for Public Administration, which manages the ParteciPa platform with the support of FormezPa in the frame of the project “OpenGov: methods and tools for open government”.
The results of the public consultation
The public consultation was launched on 18 May until 30 June 2022; it brought a broad participation of more than 100 actors from different areas of the cultural ecosystem, including archives, museums, public administrations, cultural and creative enterprises, private sector, Wikipedia volunteers and Wikimedia projects, libraries and media libraries, school-university-research institutions unevenly distributed throughout the country comparing the regions they are established in.
A qualitative analysis of the contents received during the consultation was carried out by the team of experts of the leading Institute for the digitization of cultural heritage – the Digital Library - through categorizing the requests by problem clusters. The analysis revealed that the most challenging issues concern training, the recruitment of experts and the clarity of explanatory texts, often considered to be very technical, too long and with few diagrams. The further structured analysis of all the contributions received impacted on the final version of the Plan and on the Guidelines dedicated to digitization practices annexed; part of the contributions were immediately integrated into the final version, part will be used in the next few months to improve the comprehension, and part were not accepted.