minerva homepage


home  |  search  |  map  |  contact us  

Path: Home | Events | 


Preservation of web material
22-24 May 2003

Pierluigi Feliciati
Minerva WP5 and National Archives of Italy

Quality Guidelines for Public Cultural Web Applications and the managing of their contents: Abstract

The Minerva project (Ministerial NEtwoRk for Valorising Activities in digitisation), funded under the IST Programme and coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Culture, acts as a secretariat for National Representatives Group meetings and for implementing the Lund Action Plan. Its aims are to coordinate a common platform and to produce guidelines and recommendations for national digitisation policies, with a special attention to contents quality, access and long-term preservation. Within Minerva experts workgroups, since March 2002 the Working Package 5 has focused its activity on Web sites, in order to define a quality framework of criteria for cultural applications.
The geometric increasing of cultural Web sites wasn't matched to a full awareness of the new medium and their contents were often put in sort of show-cases, bad imitations of the dot.com world experiences.
The conservation institutions should avail of a full use of the powerful medium of WWW, in order to promote the effective widening of civil community's participation to conservation policy. In this direction, the public cultural entities should be in the front line for the challenge of increasing Web quality, being the landmark to turn present flow-knowledge effects from disorientating to orientating.
Starting from these premises, the Minerva WP5 is presently working to the redaction of a Handbook of Quality for Public Cultural Web Applications, to provide a concrete tool for Web promoters, developers and evaluators and come out from the experimental Web Era with the help of concrete guidelines, crossing public entities' conservative mission and users' needs.
To work out such aims the Handbook singles out 12 Web Application goals, from the transparency on cultural subject's activity to the diffusing of cultural contents, from the museums reservation to the scientific research services. For each goal are defined and commented the proper quality criteria, both from the content and from the technical point of view, with attention to the specificity of cultural categories (archival, librarian, artistic, archaeological, etc).
A draft version of the Handbook will be exposed at next NRG meeting next June, in Kerkira's Workshop on Digitisation of Cultural Heritage, and submitted to European cultural community to collect suggestions. At the International Minerva Conference of Parma (I) on Web Quality (20-21 November 2003) the Handbook will be presented in a definitive version.
Among the basic principles opening the Handbook we planned a recommendation on long-term preservation of web content: one of the main goals of public cultural subjects is to turn the anti-historical tendency of cyber-world upside down, providing the dissemination of guidelines and best practices for long-term preservation of Web contents. This activity must concern both the site developing process and its maintenance, with attention to the proper standards and techniques. The Kerkira ERPANET Seminar conclusions will be the basis for this recommendation.


Copyright Minerva Project 2003-05, last revision 2003-05-06, edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
URL: www.minervaeurope.org/events/erpanet.htm
Valid HTML 4.0!