Sara Di Giorgio, from the ICCU and at that time chair of the Research Community of Europeana, organised the workshop 'EOSC’s Evolutionary Scenarios: Perspectives for Digital Cultural Heritage' in the framework of the Europeana Annual Conference 2019, held at the National Library of Lisbon on 27 November 2019. The workshop, addressed to professionals and stakeholders directly engaged in building digital collections at institutions such as museums, libraries and archives, aimed to raise awareness of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) within the cultural heritage sector.
The workshop introduced professionals from museums, archives and libraries to EOSC, its services and best practices in the cultural heritage and humanities sectors. The aim was to establish a new partnership between Europeana and EOSC and to seek for effective ways for the Europeana infrastructure and its network to plug into the Cloud and for EOSC to expand its community and its range of services.
Objectives & Challenges
The event addressed the challenges and opportunities that the EOSC establishment is posing to cultural heritage institutions. Since cultural heritage is a primary source for research in Social Sciences and Humanities, it aimed to present the EOSC vision and best practices and to discuss specific requirements and solutions for digital cultural heritage in compliance with the FAIR principles.
The workshop was organised in two sessions: one dedicated to EOSC projects such as EOSC Secreatariat, EOSC Hub and EOSC Pillar and another to research infrastructures in the cultural heritage and digital humanities sectors. The event concluded with a lively question and answer session, focusing on the opportunities that EOSC offers to the cultural heritage sector. The report contains the main discussion points.
The great participation and interest of the attendees in the workshop demonstrated that cultural heritage institutions and researchers in this sector are starting to gain awareness of EOSC. Moreover EOSC could facilitate the interaction between cultural heritage sectors and researchers in the digital humanities. It will allow researchers to store, manage, analyse and reuse the great collections of museums, archives and libraries. In all this, Europeana as a network of accredited national repositories connecting over 2,500 local and national cultural heritage institutions, can play an important role.
The experience gained in the first research infrastructures dedicated to cultural heritage have shown that there is still a lack of knowledge among scholars about the FAIR principles and the great opportunity that arises with the practice of data reuse. EOSC could offer solutions to achieve FAIRness of data and solve the fragmentation that exists in the different disciplinary sectors, this is the challenge to be taken up.
Researchers in Digital Humanities, Social Sciences and experts from the cultural heritage sectors are the largest group of stakeholders for Europeana, and we should investigate more about how they are working and what they need for the management and re-use of digital cultural heritage. EOSC can support the development of new services to improve the management and the re-use of the collections of libraries, museums and archives by researchers. By partnering with research infrastructures and EOSC, Europeana and cultural heritage institutions will be able to introduce new products and development strategies more easily and rapidly.
The wide network of cultural heritage institutions should furthermore be properly informed, involved and trained in the global strategies concerning data such as the application of the FAIR principles to the domain and the implementation of a ‘Culture Cloud’ as a thematic cloud within the global EOSC.
There is the opportunity to stimulate collaborative projects to integrate the cultural heritage sector into the European Open Science Cloud.
The overall innovation goal here is to integrate humanities and heritage e-infrastructures as part of EOSC.