The second edition of the conference Cultural Heritage online – Empowering users: an active role for user communities, has confirmed a great interest for the subjects proposed, as well as the reliability and the stable network of collaborations that the Foundation Rinascimento Digitale has been earned in the field of new technologies for cultural heritage.
The event has been a fruitful meeting full of considerations, deliberations, incentives and also an occasion of comparison and experiences exchange for several initiatives and international projects, showed by the major national, international, public and private institutions engaged in cultural sector, more and more interested in the ICT framework, in the use and implementation of new technologies and cultural resources in digital format.
The conference was largely promoted on Internet, on the Web site of all our promoters and supporters, digital magazines and by mailing lists and distribution lists; news of the conference were published and positively welcomed on the main local and national newspapers. The conference has seen a great interest not only among the specialists in the cultural heritage field, but also there was a large participation of Italian and foreign students, several European Projects, representatives of local administrations, research centres and private and corporate sector.
There were about 400 people at the conference: one fourth of those present was formed by students, then regarding the nationality, there were people from all countries: in particular three – quarters of participants were Italians, followed by Americans, Germans, Dutchmen and there was a various representation of almost all of European countries. (Table – A).
The conference topics were related to digital Libraries and digital preservation but focussing on the user needs and point of view; so instead investigating the technology offer we favoured the works about organisational issues, new internet schemas and roles, user requirements and constraints, and cultural and economic limits too, that can be seen as obstacles in the way to adopt completely ICT in the cultural heritage sector.
The plenary session of the second day conference was started with the presentation of national and international scenarios, followed by two thematic sessions with scientific speeches selected through a Call for Papers that observed the advancement of the research on the user-institution relationship towards the development of cooperative Web 2.0 tools and on sustainable digital preservation policies.
Than at the conference they deal with Web 2.0 issue, that raised various considerations and expectations but also some doubts. The long term preservation of digital objects has been another important subject and represents for all a binding and urgent commitment, that we have to carry out in a way economically sustainable and as much as possible clear.
In conclusion an important message was the necessity and the common will to work together defining new solutions and standards used with the minimum effort and in the maximum safety.
The next conference will be in three years, again in Florence, but in the meantime is necessary to develop and promote the best practices use, supporting a knowledge exchange and attending in other international meetings. We feel confident to be able to work successfully with you all before the next appointment in 2012. We’ll keep in contact with you before that.