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China Steps Up Digitization to Preserve Cultural Relics
 

China Steps Up Digitization to Preserve Cultural Relics

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China is increasing the use of digital methods to preserve its cultural relics and make them available to the general public.

China is increasing the use of digital methods to preserve its cultural relics and make them available to the general public.

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    China Steps Up Digitization to Preserve Cultural Relics China Steps Up Digitization to Preserve Cultural Relics Document Transcript

    • China Steps Up Digitization to Preserve Cultural Relics China is increasing the use of digital methods to preserve its cultural relics and   make them available to the general public.  Digitization seems to be the ideal solution when it comes to preserving cultural  heritage. There are reports every day of organizations across the world taking  the digital path to safeguard their country’s heritage through digitization and  make   the   collection   available   online   for   present   and   future   generations.  Museums, libraries, archives, photo and film archives, and centers for regional  history are facilitating online access to their vast digital archives. Now, China has  stepped up the use of digital methods to preserve its cultural relics. China’s  cultural relics in its museums include valuable ancient art works, handicrafts,  historical documents, books and much more. Public Access to a National Database of Chinese Cultural Relics According to a recent report, China is planning to create a national database of  moveable cultural relics for online access and also involve the public in the  preservation process.   In 2013, China launched a nationwide census on its  moveable cultural relics, covering more than 1.5 million public institutions. This  investigation is expected to be completed in 2016. The initial stage of the pilot  project which involved a survey of moveable cultural relics with government  agencies, military and public institutions, has been completed. This year the  State   Administration   of   Cultural   Heritage,   the   agency   responsible   for   the  www.managedoutsource.com 1­800­670­2809
    • development and management of museums and also the protection of cultural  relics of national importance, will focus on identification and registration of items.  The challenge posed by such a project is immense. Xinhua  reports  that the  number of cultural relics owned by China’s Palace Museum alone has surpassed  1.8 million. However, the museum curator says that a great deal of the collection  has   deteriorated   and   that   proper   restoration   and   preservation   practices   are  necessary. Digitizing and Preserving Cultural Relics Historical documents in paper format or as photographs are subject to scanning  and indexing.  Digital image capture with digital cameras/scanners (non­touch)  for still images would involve the creation of master files, image parameters, and  digitization.  Advanced scanning systems take high­quality images of books and  perform various manipulations to convert them in optical character recognition  (OCR) and compress them. The result is attractive printable versions of books  that are also searchable. The cultural relic digitization drive in China will offer  many benefits • Make the material broadly accessible to a large segment of the population  • Make China’s diverse heritage clearly visible to the public • Speed up search methods  • Preserve the collection for future generations • Lessen the manual handling of fragile manuscripts  • Save storage space www.managedoutsource.com 1­800­670­2809
    • • Electronically enhanced images can be viewed with greater legibility The project is not without challenges. A local cultural relics surveyor reported that  many   institutions   were   not   willing   to   declare   what   they   have,   although   the  government has said that the survey will not affect the ownership of the items. In  addition to this, the lack of proper technology, professional personnel and funds  are   a   problem.   This   is   probably   the   reason   why   many   institutions   rely   on  professional document scanning services.  Companies offering such services  are well­equipped with the necessary technology and manpower to provide their  clients with cost­effective solutions. Preserving cultural heritage is essential to protect a sense of identity in this  culturally diverse world. A virtual visit to a library or museum offers real­time  online access to objects of cultural heritage. Archive, museums, libraries and  cultural institutions in many countries are going digital to preserve their precious  materials.  www.managedoutsource.com 1­800­670­2809