Recommendation on Digitisation and Digital Preservation

The Commission has just adopted a Recommendation on Digitisation and Digital Preservation, asking Member States to step up their efforts, pool their resources and involve private actors in digitising cultural material and make it available through Europeana.

In particular, the Recommendation invites Member States to:

  • put in place solid plans for their investments in digitisation and foster public-private partnerships to share the gigantic cost of digitisation (recently estimated at 100 billion EUR). The Recommendation spells out key principles to ensure that such partnerships are fair and balanced.
  • make available through Europeana 30 million objects by 2015, including all Europe's masterpieces which are no longer protected by copyright, and all material digitised with public funding.
  • get more in-copyright material online, by, for example, creating the legal framework conditions enabling large-scale digitisation and cross-border accessibility of out-of-commerce works.
  • reinforce their strategies and adapt their legislation to ensure long-term preservation of digital material, by, for example, ensuring the material deposited is not protected by technical measures that impede librarians from preserving it.

The Recommendation is an update of a first recommendation adopted in 2006. It takes account of Member States progress reports from 2008 and 2010, which show, that although progress has been made, more and better action is needed as regards financial resources, quantitative targets for digitisation and solid support for Europeana. It also builds on the conclusions of the 'Comité des Sages' on bringing Europe's cultural heritage online, appointed by Commissioners Kroes and Vassiliou in 2010.

Useful links:
-    The Commission' s press release on the Recommendation
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/1292&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
-    The text of the Recommendation in English, French and German
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/digital_libraries/index_en.htm
-    Europeana, Europe's digital library, archive and museum: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/
-    "Comité des Sages" on Bringing Europe's Cultural Heritage On-line:
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/digital_libraries/comite_des_sages/index_en.htm
-    Member States progress reports can be found on the digital libraries website:
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/digital_libraries/other_groups/mseg/index_en.htm