minerva homepage

  About Minerva  
  Good practices  
  Competence centres  

home  |  search  |  map  |  contact us  

Path: Home | Publications | Global Report | Global Report 2002  | Spain


Coordinating digitisation in Europe

Progress report of the National Representative Group: coordination mechanisms for digitisation policies and programmes 2002

Josè Luis Esteban
Ministry of Culture

National Report: Spain


Policy scenario for digitisation

During 2002, the following activities associated to the Lund Action Plan were carried out in Spain.
On the first semester, Spanish Presidency period, the following activities were accomplished:

  • preparing the Spanish Resolution on digital preservation, including CAC meetings in Brussels and preparatory activities in collaboration with EC;
  • NRG Meeting in Alicante;
  • Archives meeting in Valladolid;
  • DLM-Forum in Barcelona;
  • Culture Council on May 23rd with positive decision regarding the Resolution;
  • setting up the Ministerial Commission on Digitisation (CMD), with members belonging to the following bodies:
    • Subdirección General de Coordinación Bibliotecaria;
    • Subdirección General de Archivos Estatales;
    • Subdirección General de Museos Estatales;
    • Subdirección General de Protección de Patrimonio;
    • Subdirección General del Instituto de Patrimonio Histórico Español;
    • Filmoteca Española;
    • Biblioteca Nacional;
    • Museo del Prado;
    • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía;
    • Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música;
    • Secretaría de Estado de Educación y Universidades;
    • Centro Nacional de Información y Comunicación Educativa;
    • Dirección General de Programación Económica, Personal y Servicios (Subdirección General de Tratamiento de la Información);
    • Subdirección General de Cooperación Cultural Internacional;
    • Gabinete del Secretario de Estado de Cultura.

The Commission (CMD) met three times and set up mechanisms to build up tools as mailing listserv,
Web portal etc. During Presidency also, it took place in Toledo the first ERPANET Seminar.
During the second semester, the activity is mainly related with strategic design and future development of the Lund activities. In this direction, decision is made about the following topics:

  • other public institutions could be incorporated to the CMD works as needed and following their interest (i.e. Real Academia de la Lengua, Instituto Cervantes, Residencia de Estudiantes, Patrimonio Nacional etc.);
  • private sector companies will also be invited to join the Commission works;
  • the Science and Technology Department (MCyT) will be contacted to start collaboration regarding activities related with Lund, as the project of building the “Cultural” Portal for Spain: Patrimonio.es (Heritage.es);
  • regarding the building up of the inventory of digitisation projects in Spain, the MCyT started a profiT project to collect data about institutions & companies with digitisation projects & needs. The idea is to collect info about projects and programmes as well as to locate best practices and experts to feed the collaboration schema derived from the Lund Action Plan. More than 165 projects have been identified up to now.
Terms of reference and National policy profile

The Secretary of State for Culture – in Spain, the Ministry is responsible for Education, Culture & Sport (MECD) – supports the Terms of reference and will carry out the task needed to achieve the defined objectives. The starting of the Commission for Digitisation (CMD) on November 30th, 2001 is a part of this commitment.
The Secretary of State for Culture appointed the national representative for Spain and has also accepted the terms of reference for the National Representative Group. The national representative chairs the CMD and works closely with the office of the Secretary of State in the implementation of the task associated with Lund, from the date of the appointment (November 2001).
The terms of reference have been disseminated to the national co-ordination group (CMD) as one of the means to create widespread visibility and consensus around the Lund principles.
The first draft of the Spanish National Profile has been published at: http://www.mcu.es/mensup/digi/ nationalpages-1-es.html.
We are in the process to obtain more information to complete this report and such a page will be included in the recent task initiate to re-design the Department portal with a new image and improving content (during 2003).
The contact persons for the NRG and the profile in Spain are:

  • José Luis Esteban (Spanish National Library), National Representative, e-mail jose.esteban@bne.es
  • Isabel González (Department of Education, Culture and Sport – Secretary of State for Culture), e-mail isabel.gonzalez@dgs.mcu.es


Co-operation activities

Co-ordination of national networks

In Spain, Culture is an area of activity covered by all the Public Administrations: the General State Administration, the authorities in the Autonomous Communities and the Local Corporations.
The de-centralisation of Spain’s Administration implies that the measures for the protection and communication of our country’s heritage represent a responsibility shared by all of the Authorities involved.
As a result, the implementation of a national digitisation programme for cultural and scientific contents implies the co-ordination of the owners of and parties with responsibility for all properties belonging to Spain’s artistic and historic heritage: the State, regional and local authorities, private individuals and the Catholic Church, as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology as the unit responsible for promoting the Information Society. The de-centralisation of Spain’s Administration implies that the measures for the protection and communication of our country’s heritage represent a responsibility shared by all of the Authorities involved.

Relationships and co-ordination with other national initiatives in connection with eEurope, e-government, e-learning

The Spanish Department for Science and Technology is the responsible for co-ordinating and developing at national level the activities related with the promotion and funding of initiatives in ICT.
In this sense, it has started RED.ES, organisation devoted to promote and develop the Information Society in Spain.
One of the projects under study is patrimonio.es (heritage.es) where projects related with the digitisation of cultural heritage could rely.
In this framework are scoped the contact between our two departments (MECD and MCyT), to co-ordinate and join efforts related with the adoption of standards as well as representation duties between us.

European and international co-operation

Memory institutions have a well-established tradition
in co-operation with networks in their respective fields of activity. This networks usually include European
and non-European institutions. In the Spanish case,
the collaboration with Latin-America is a must, and it’s very common the presence of Spanish institutions at the lead of many initiatives. In this perspective, the multi-lingualism included in the actions related with Lund should consider as very important the cultural needs and demands of this Spanish-speaking community of 400 million people, as well as the “Spanish as my second language” community all over the world.



We fully support the Austrian comments about the bottom down feasibility on the benchmarking exercise, reflected in the following sentences: “Most relevant cultural institutions are independent and the development of digitisation strategies lies in there own responsibility. Therefore it is important to convince the directors of the memory institutions and to encourage them to develop there own strategic profiles for there institution and to support them in doing so via the NRG members”.


Inventories and resource discovery

Attention please: about all these chapters we must say that was inevitable to avoid some repetitions in each point, so what we choose a method that explains all them by bring in the work that some of our institution or departments within the Minister of Culture are developing towards giving objective answers to each one of them.

Available inventories

As stated before, the Science and Technology Department (MCyT) has started a ProfiT project where a private company (Ifigenia) will develop a first version of the inventory of Digitisation projects.
It’s obvious the need to collaborate with others active actors inside and outside Spain to standardise and re-utilise experiences that can help in building up such a catalogue.


Good practice and skills

Good practice exemplars and guidelines

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes
Universidad de Alicante. Fundación Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Digital edition of bibliographic and documental cultural heritage – Historical books and documents. Spain and Latin-America.

Archivos Estatales en Red (AER)
Subdirección General de Archivos Estatales
Digitisation of the Spanish State Archives. 12 million images digitised up to now. Description and images availables on Internet.
Visitas virtuales a monumentos
Patrimonio Nacional / Fundación Telefónica
Virtual visits to Spanish Patrimonio Nacional & Royal Family places including: Palacio Real de Madrid,
San Lorenzo del Escorial, Palacio Real de Aranjuez, Palacio Real de la Granja de San Ildefonso,
La Almudaina.
Fundación telefónica funded also the following virtual visits: Catedral de Mallorca, Catedral de Cuenca, Catedral de Oviedo, Catedral de Valencia, Catedral de Zaragoza y La Sagrada Familia.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Virtual visit to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, including description notes & the possibility to review/zoom the objects in the museum.

Consejería de Cultura, Comunicación Social y Turismo de la Xunta de Galicia
Information about the Camino de Santiago including images of Galicia, Santiago and the Camino, videos, Webcams etc. It’s possible to follow the route in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Gallego languages.

Main digitisation training initiatives for cultural heritage institutions

There’s no formal co-ordination between heritage institutions regarding training in digitisation-related activities.
But, in the Secretary of State for Culture’s training plans (yearly), it’s always included a provision for training in digitisation of documents.


European added value and content framework

Quality and accessibility for Web sites

Accessibility of Cultural sites, as well as quality concerns are key issues in this sort of activities. In this context, Brussels Quality Framework is a first step in trying to set up and standardise the level of quality advisable for Cultural Portals in Europe.
Quality criteria should include the long-term preservation point of view to assure the cost-efficiency and the mission-oriented of the task (for the institutions).


Research activities on digitisation

It’s a defined task of the CMD to contact and develop a collaboration scheme with research organisation (i.e. universities) to collect and propose projects related with investigation in the areas related with digitisation


Copyright Minerva Project 2004-01, last revision 2004-01-16, edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
Valid HTML 4.0!