The digitisation of collections at culture-producing institutions

Culture-producing institutions generate a lot of production-related material. Unlike cultural heritage institutions, however, the structured archiving and digitisation of the collections are not among their priorities. Digitisation has been prioritised in the policy of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science (OCW), as evidenced inter alia by the organisation Digital Heritage Network (Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed, NDE). Heritage institutions are already actively digitising their collections to facilitate their management and to make them usable and accessible. Ideally, culture-producing institutions in the performing arts, presentation institutes, design and e-culture are also archiving and digitising their production-related materials. The functions of culture-producing institutions, however, are not in the sphere of maintaining and managing collections (preservation), but in creating and displaying works, which often can only be heard or seen for one season.

Digital Betacam cleaning at LIMA. Picture: LIMA.


In 2015, the Dutch Council for Culture (Raad voor Cultuur) drew attention to the state of archives in culture-producing institutions, because their production-related material is important in the context of heritage preservation. The first step is to create an overview of the current state of archiving and digitisation by cultural institutions. Commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Council for Culture, this inventory has been made. LIMA served on the supervisory committee.


The report ‘Inventarisatie digitalisering cultuurproducerende instellingen’ (‘Inventorising digitisation at culture-producing institutions’) was published on 17 March 2016.


The report contains no policy recommendations. The Council will consider it when deciding on the Basic Infrastructure for culture (Basisinfrastructuur, BIS).


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