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Digitize Museums and Archives for All

To increase the presence of the documentary collections of museums and archives in Internet: tools for digitisation and crowdsourcing

The Archives and Museums of the Institute of Culture of Barcelona count on large quantities of documents, photographs and books that have made up the historic memory of the city and its citizens for centuries (books, photographs, manuscripts, etc.).  It is a collection of major value and singularity that needs to be preserved, spread and be possible to consult online.

So as to be able to open up these collections to the citizenship, it is first necessary to conveniently digitise and document them.  The solutions being sought, should enable:

a)       Digitising the most singular and valuable documentary collections making use of the most efficient technologies and processes in terms of cost and effort.

b)       To achieve the collaborative and voluntary involvement of the citizens in the process of treatment and classification of the digitised documents, known as crowdsourcing, that will allow an exponential improvement of the capacity of the ICUB to advance in the treatment of its documentary collections and one that is being employed in many sectors and similar cases.  As an example, here are some successful cases studies listed in terms of applying techniques of crowdsourcing in the cultural sector: Notes from Nature ; Your Paintings; Cartoteca Digital.

Only with the digitisation and the online extension of this documentation will it be possible to understand the Barcelona heritage in all its size, and to explain the city as a capital of Catalan culture from centuries past and as a receiver of European culture from the Renaissance to the present day.

The challenge, therefore, is to focus on how to digitize the patrimonial documentation stored in the Museums and Archives of Barcelona at the lowest cost and by employing the best digitisation technology possible, and to apply systems that allow the application of crowdsourcing processes of citizen collaboration for the subsequent classification with the aim of being able to place the greatest number of documentary collections online, and therefore available to all the citizenship.  That is to say, a search for efficient solutions of digitization and crowdsourcing for the enrichment of the classification of the documentary collections of the museums and archives of Barcelona that enable the maximum diffusion of the collection on the internet.

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