The International Conference of Mobile Digitization treats an extremely innovative and up-to-date subject: low-cost digitization of books, documents and images in small and medium libraries and museums or in private collections. The conference is organized within the framework of the international Mobile Digitizing project (, which is supported by Erasmus +. The project aims are to develop innovative online learning materials and train librarians, archivists, small organization managers and library science teachers, how to create low-cost digitization facilities and how to digitize, how to process and stores the acquired information, linking to databases and presenting the digital materials.

The project is attended by representatives from various organizations, such as the world’s leading book centers and the world’s largest and old libraries dealing with the preservation of rare and valuable publications. The conference will bring together Bulgarian and foreign lecturers working in the field of digitization, who will present their experience and knowledge to the participants in the event. The host of the conference is the Regional Library “P. R. Slaveikov “- Veliko Tarnovo.

Mobile Digitizing events, including the conference on Mobile Digitization, are broadly reflected by all major national and local media such as BNT, BTV and others.

Among the topics to be discussed at the conference are low-budget solutions for the digitization of books, papers, photographs, software and hardware for digitization of cultural heritage, good practices in Europe, digitization research, etc.


Regional Library “Petko Rachev Slaveikov” – Project Coordinator, Bulgaria


Student Computer Art Society (SCAS), Bulgaria


National High School of Polygraphy and Photography, Bulgaria


Universitaet Graz, Austria


Stichting de Domijnen, Netherlands


Palácio Nacional de Mafra, Portugal


Fratelli Alinari Istituto di Edizioni Artistiche – Idea Spa, Italy

Dr. Ivan Alexandrov

Assoc Prof. Dr. Kalina Ivanova

Dr. Eng. Rosen Petkov

Boryana Savova

Daniela Atanasova

Marina Stoykova

Martina Yankova

Kaloyan Zdravkov

Please fill out the registration form at: After reviewing it by the Organizing Committee you will receive a confirmation on your e-mail address.

The Organizing Committee recommends using the templates below to prepare your presentations. The zip file contains PPTM and PDF templates.


The Mobile Digitizing conference will include presentations involving some of these key topics:

Panel 1: Approaches, methodology, scientific achievements in the digitization of books, documents and images (theoretical aspects)

    • Digitization as translation of analogue reality into digital world
    • Advantages of low-cost digitization
    • New technologies, tendencies and innovative solutions in the field of digitization
    • Research in the field of digitization – current needs, impact, popularity, usability of data and others
    • Training needs and solutions

Panel 2: Mobile (low-cost) digitizing in practice and daily life (practical aspects)

    • Practical cases and good practices around Europe
    • Field experience with mobile digitization, problems and solutions
    • Education and how digitization of data impacts the life of people

The topics may include some issues related to selection of objects to be digitized, storage, asset management, access of data, copyrights, metadata, training of the personnel etc.

The presentations should be in English and should be no longer than 30 minutes. Presentation title and abstract should be sent by e-mail to and before June 22 for approval. PPT should be sent before July 1st.

Maria Gabriel (Bulgaria)

Maria Gabriel is Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society (2017-2019).
Her portfolio includes the following responsibilities:

  • Preparing legislative measures to improve the connectivity of the digital unitary market by termination the isolated functioning of national telecommunications regulatory systems, copyright and data protection legislation, radio waves management and enforcement in the competition field;
  • Including more ambitious targets in the ongoing reform of the European Union Telecoms Rules and developing a common approach to the management of the use of radio spectrum in the Union;
  • Modernizing copyright rules;
  • Developing measures to improve the security of online communications and data transmission;
  • Support the deployment of high-quality digital infrastructure.


Assoc. Prof.  Dr. Kalina Ivanova (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kalina Ivanova is Deputy Director of Petko Rachev Slaveykov Regional Public Library in Veliko Tarnovo.

Since June 2015 he is assistant professor at the Department of Book publishing and library information activities of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”.

She is a member of the Management Board of the Bulgarian Library and Information Association.

Project Manager and Coordinator under the Lifelong Learning Program and Programs for the preservation of the literary, cultural and historical heritage in libraries, museums and archives.


Biography photo Mafalda Nobre

Mafalda Abrantes Nobre (Mafra, Portugal)

Degree in Information Sciences and Documentation (UAB). Attended the course “Technical Assistant Library and Documentation” (BAD 1994-1995). Works in the National Palace Library of Mafra (BPNM) since 1995, such as cataloging, indexing, researching, attending to users, monitoring specialized visits, among others. Is co-authored of several edited catalogs where she has been responsible for research, cataloging and graphic design.
Responsible for the coordination of the database of the musical fund of the National Palace Library of Mafra, in partnership with the Center for Sociology and Musical Aesthetics Studies (CESEM).
In partnership with the Interdisciplinary Center of History, Cultures and Societies of the University of Évora, develops a project on provenance marks existing in the library of the Palace of Mafra.
Is currently part of the international MobiDig project in partnership with institutions from five europeans countries.


Byography photo Teresa Amaral

Maria Teresa Amaral (Mafra, Portugal)

Degree in History, postgraduate degree in Documentary Sciences. Doctorate in History: Representations, Powers and Cultural Practices.
Invited researcher at the Techn & Art Research Center.
Librarian in the National Palace of Mafra since 1994, with very diversified tasks, namely: cataloging the collection; control of conservation and preservation conditions; support for PhD studies and theses; preparation and follow-up of thematic visits (book and press evolution). Coordination of several research projects in partnership with Universities.
Previously, in 1988, she worked as Librarian in the Historical Archive of the Ministry of Finance, where she worked mainly on printed material. For 3 years was responsible for all the Documentation area at the Francisco Gentil Nursing School.
Is co-author of several edited catalogs, where was responsible for research, writing, cataloging and graphic design.
Is currently part of the European MobiDig Project, which is part of the Erasmus + program, with institutions from five European countries.


Dr. Alessandro Artusi (Cyprus)

Dr. Artusi main research activities are in the areas of Image processing, Computer Graphics and Color Science. He has a long standing activities in High Dynamic Range technology, image/video encoding and its standardization, Image content retargeting, energy saving algorithmic solution and image/video subjective and objective evaluation. He has recently initiated deep-learning investigation activities to be applied to typical image processing and computer vision problems. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Vienna University of Technology, in Computer Graphics, and a MSc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Milano (Italy). He is a member of the IST/037 coding of picture, audio, multimedia and hypermedia information, of the British Standard Institute (BSI), and is acting as UK representative in the ISO/IEC/SC29/WG1/JPEG and ISO/IEC/SC29/WG11/MPEG Standardization committee’s. He is one of the editors of the ISO/IEC/18477-JPEG-XT standard, and he has acted as co-chair of the JPEG-XT AhG, and chair of the AhG on verification of the JPEG-XT Part7. For these activities he has been recognized with the prestigious BSI Emerging Standards Maker Award. He recently has received an Associate Professor habilitation from the Agenda per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya (Spain) (AQU) and two Associate Professor habilitations form the Italian Ministry of Research, as well as the Certified Programme I3 (Spanish System).

He regularly acts as IPC member and reviewer for major international conferences and journals, and he is the Associate editor of three peer-review international journals. His research activities have attracted more then 1.6 million of euros, in national and international competitive research funding calls, and he has participated in research projects for a total budget of more then 6.5 millions of euros. He is the co-author of the CRC Press reference book on High Dynamic Range Technology ‘Advanced High Dynamic Range Technology: Theory and Practice’ 1st and 2nd edition and the author of CRC Press book ‘Image Content Retargeting: Mantaining Tone, Color and Spatial Consistency.’


Biography photo Andrea de PoloAndrea de Polo (Florence, Italy)

Andrea de Polo has been project coordinator and being involved as partner in several cultural, training and educational projects ( on the ICT, FP7, CIP PSP, Horizon 2020, COST 292, Gruntvig. Proven experience on digital issues, long term preservation, cultural heritage, libraries and museum needs, from a technical and legal point of view. Involved to provide support and expertise in digital media, and enterprise content management.

Andrea has created and improved digital production environments that are agile, archival and effortless to maintain. Involved in many R&D projects, editorial and licensing projects worldwide. He has lead a team of 12 people in the company to manage the R&D department. At the same time, Mr. de Polo has been invited in a series of international conferences and trade show to demonstrate to the audience the success story of the company, from its origin until today in the cultural and multimedia field. Mr. de Polo has helped the company on setting-up partnerships and international cooperation projects in the commercial, educational and business sectors.

Involved in business plans, peer review, management.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marijana Tomić (Zadar, Croatia)

Dr. Marijana Tomić is Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Sciences, University of Zadar, Croatia, where she has been employed since 2007. She teaches courses in the theory and practice of information organization, cataloguing of old and rare books, book history and digital humanities. She is a member of Standing Committee of the IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section and a chair of Section for the History of Books and Libraries of Croatian Library Association (2016-2018). She is a chair of an interdisciplinary scientific project Digitization, Bibliographic Description and Research of Texts Written on Glagolitic, Croatian Cyrillic and Latin Scripts Until the End Of 19th Century in Zadar and Šibenik Area (Written heritage) which is being carried out at the University of Zadar by the Department of Information Sciences in co-operation with Vestigia Manuscript Research Centre of the University of Graz, Austria. She is involved in the five-year project, Production, publishing and maintaining national cataloguing rules: 2014-2018.


Dr. Eng. Rosen Petkov and Boryana Savova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Dr. Eng. Rosen Petkov is an expert in the field of digital arts, he teaches computer graphics and multimedia, author of the curriculum for modern media in education and training. He is the founder of a network of student information and career centers in Bulgaria and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the International Computer Arts Forum “Computer Space” and the Student Society for Computer Art (CCI).

The history of graphics, printed graphics and the book is another area with which Rossen Petkov deals. The binding and the elements of the book, the materials, the design, the book as an artifact, the development of the printed design and the connection with the contemporary media are the focus of Rossen Petkov’s research, which he also promoted through Facebook public groups set up and administered by him. He is the author of the book “For Old Books and Computer Arts”. He has also worked in the field of digitization of book heritage in recent years and has been a leading expert in international projects such as Bookbinding design and Mobile Digitizing under the Erasmus + program.


Boryana Savova works at the Computer Arts Student Society (SCI) in the field of informal youth education, training materials and organizing events by participating in the Organizing Committee of the International Computer Arts Forum “Computer Space. She has participated in the Inclusive Digital Video Training project in Youth Work and the Mobile Digitizing project.



Peer-Boselie-enPeer H. M. Boselie (Netherlands)

City and regional archivist Sittard-Geleen, active as a member of ICARUS Board, the TimeMachine consortium (Limburg TimeMachine) and various (Eu)regional historical associations.

Theologian / church historian (HTP / UTP / Nijmegen) and archivist (State Archives School). Mainly publishes articles and columns in the field of Euregional history and recipe culture.


Han-Adriaans-enHan Adriaans (Johannes H.) (Netherlands)

Since 5 years inspector of archives in the city and region of Sittard-Geleen. Was 7 years inspector in the region Land van Heusden en Altena and has worked 11 years as commercial project coordinator / manager for dozens of organizations (both profit and non-profit).

Educated in both modern and classical archival management and is specialized in digitization and digital document management.


Prof. Dr. Erich Renhart (Graz, Austria)

Year of birth: 1959. Erich is a professor at Graz University, director of the VESTIGIA – Manuscript Research Centre, and scientific director of the Special Collection Department/University Library, Graz.

Current positions:
Scientific Director of the Manuscript and Special Collection Department, University Library of Graz
Head of the cross-faculty research unit VESTIGIA – Manuscript Research Centre

Principal working and research subjects: Liturgical studies, codicology, manuscript studies, book history, ecumenism, digital humanities.


Assist. Prof. Dr. Iskra Tsvetanska (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Iskra Tsvetanska is interested in attending to conferences and forums, focused on access to and preservation of documentary heritage. She thinks that we have to look for ways to preserve and provide to Bulgarian people and the international cultural society our rich cultural relics on paper, parchment and others.

Chief Expert Assistant at UniBIT – Sofia.


Daniela Nedyalkova (Silistra, Bulgaria)

Daniela Nedyalkova works to expand the free access opportunities that libraries realize with the digitization of the literary heritage. The library in Silistra has successfully implemented projects in the digitization of Thracian aspects in historical memory and living cultural heritage.
Director of Parteniy Pavlovich Regional Library – Silistra.


Ivan Krachanov (Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Interested in the novelties in the field of digitization. The topic is especially relevant because the dynamic development of technology requires constant refreshing of information, familiarization with and appreciation of the relevance of innovation to the needs of our institutions. He wants to present the novelties in the library and share experience with colleagues in the country.


Assist. Prof. Kalina Sotirova-Valkova, PhD Student (Sofia, Bulgaria)

PhD researcher in Digital Humanities, working since 2002 in the field of 2D and 3D digitization of Bulgarian cultural heritage, esp. movable heritage assets in the collections of memory institutions. Work as lecturer, researcher and Computer Graphics expert in the Digitization Centre of Institute of Math and Informatics at BAS. The topic of mobile digitizing is limited in terms of quality, metadata standards and longterm preservation, therefore it is interesting for me as working tool for small collections, scattered here and there in the country, where the team has no IT, nor administrative capacity to lead /fund mass digitization. The topic for this event is focused on Digital Rights Management for Digital Cultural Heritage, and open access. As for cultural assets in process of digitization, this is nationally specific topic, therefore there is no solution which we could import.


Andriana Georgieva (Sofia, Bulgaria)

The ideas and activities of the project concern directly the activity of the company she works for.




Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ventsislav Velev (Sofia, Bulgaria)

As President of the Bulgarian National Committee on the UNESCO Program “Memory of the World”, he is interested in the digitization of written cultural heritage in it’s various forms. The introduction of new technologies and the presentation of digitized written heritage is essential for its preservation and promotion.



Prof. DSc Ivanka Yankova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Present position: Director of Center for Vocational training to University of library studies and informational technologies and Chairman of the Association of University Libraries in Bulgaria.
From 2011 to 12.2018 Dean of Faculty of Library Studies and Cultural Heritage, Prof. DSc. in the State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies – Sofia; Department “Library Management”.
Prof. Habil. (2009), Doctor of Philisophy Science (2009); Assoc. Prof. – Speciality “Book Science, Librarianship and Bibliography” (2005); PhD (2004) (New and the Newest History), M. A. in Bulgarian Philology (1981); B. A. in Librarianship and Bibliography (1971). Membership of professional associations: President of the Association of university libraries; Member of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria; Member of the Bulgarian Library Association (BLA); Member of the Council of Librarianship of the Ministry of Culture.
Professional and Scientific Awards: Honorary symbol of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, I rank, 1998; Honorary diplom of Ministry of Culture for contribution to the development and popularizing of Bulgarian culture etc.


Dr. Eng. Tsvetanka Apostolova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Current position: Principal of the National High School Of Polygraphy And Photography – School of Arts at the Ministry of Culture.
Doctor of “Book science, librarianship and bibliography”, State of University of Library and Information Technologies;
Master – Mechanical Engineer, Technical University – Sofia;
Specializations: Educational Technologies in Vocational and Natural Mathematical Education (2016-2017) – Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski “, Department for Information and Improvement of Teachers;
Automation of Printing Production – Computer Graphics, Computer Animation and Multimedia, Web Design Basics, Design Printing, Publishing Automation, Prepress, Technology of Printing Production, Text Processing and Publishing Systems, Computer Photography and Video Engineering (2008-2009), Technical University of Sofia;


  • Ministry of Education and Science – Regional Inspectorate of Education Sofia-city, Diploma for Contribution to the Development of Sofia’s Education and Sculpture, 2014;
  • Ministry of Education and Science – Honorary Honor “Neofit Rilski” for long-term comprehensive professional work in the system of public education, 2009;
  • Ministry of Culture – Diploma for Contribution to the Development of Bulgarian Culture, 2006;
  • Ministry of Culture – honorary diploma and plaque for contribution to the development and promotion of Bulgarian culture, 2001



Denitsa Dimitrova, PhD Student (Sofia, Bulgaria) is a technical secretary of Center for Vocational training to the University of library studies and informational technologies. She is a PhD student at the State of University of Library and Information Technologies studying “Problems and prospects of vocational education and training In Bulgaria” (Doctoral program Book Science, Librarianship and Bibliography).
She has bachelor and master degrees in the area of the library, information and cultural management.
She has international experience thanks to the Erasmus Intensive Programme “Library, Information and Cultural Management – Academic Summer School” – University of Zagreb, Croatia (2012) and Hacettepe University, Ankara (2013).
Her scientific interests are connected with vocational education and training, library management, lifelong learning, digital literacy, information literacy, etc.


Denitsa Mladenova, PhD Student (Sofia, Bulgaria) is a PhD student at University of Library and Information Technologies studying: Digital cultural heritage resources and models for creating media content in online environment (doctoral program Book Science, Librarianship and Bibliography).
She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Print communications and Media information and advertising. She is interested in the digitization, preservation and preservation of cultural heritage, as well as sports journalism.


Boryana Marinova (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria)

Head of State Archives Department – Veliko Tarnovo at the Regional State Archives Directorate – Veliko Tarnovo. Historian, bibliographer. Years of experience as a project manager in the field of youth activities and culture. Since 2010, the head of the State Archives in Veliko Tarnovo.




Tsvetanka Koutzarova (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria)

Chief Expert at State Archive Department – Veliko Tarnovo at the Regional State Archives Directorate – Veliko Tarnovo. He is professionally involved in the digitization of archival documents. Has interests in digital technology.


Veselin Stoilov (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Works for National Archives Preserving Trust.


Dr. Sandra Blazheva (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Graduated Bachelor from the National Academy of Arts speciality Painting and Pedagogic and and a Master’s degree at Sofia University, “St. Kliment Ohridski” speciality Public Relation.

She is a Doctor of History of Art and Art Studies at the Department of Painting of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria.
She has specialized at the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao Spain and Art Foundation (Painting), Bath College, Bath in the field of painting and multimedia

Sandra is an expert in the field of digital arts, she teaches computer graphics and History of Art. Her main interest research activities are in the areas of Image processing, Computer Graphics, Color Science, Painting and History of art.


Dr. Boyan Blazhev (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Motivated by the strong interest in preserving and promoting the world and national cultural heritage. It seeks to exchange experience and familiarize with current practices and working methods. He monitors the development of different digitization systems (software, hardware).



Assoc. Prof. Burcu Umut ZAN (Bartın, Turkey)

Works in Bartın University.

Workmeeting – Arbanassi, July 9, 2019 (zip)
Conference – Veliko Tarnovo, July 10, 2019 (zip-1, zip-2)

July 10, 2019
The reading room of the “Petko R. Slaveykov” Regional Library
2 Ivanka Boteva Str., Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

09:30 – 10:00         Registration

10:00 – 10:10         Greetings

Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society (2017-2019) (video)
Boil Banov, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria (video)
Daniel Panov, Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo (video)
Emiliana Dimitrova, National agency for professional education (video)

Panel 1: Approaches, methodology, scientific achievements in the digitization of books,
documents and images (theoretical aspects)

10:10 – 10:25         UNESCO recommendations on preservation and access to the documentary heritage, including in digital form – Assoc Prof. Dr. Ventsislav Velev, MK (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

10:25 – 10:40     The project “Mobile Digitizing” – Innovative Practices for Creating Digital Content – Assoc. Prof. Kalina Ivanova, RL “P. R. Slaveykov” (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria) (video 1, video 2, presentation)

10:40 – 10:55         Digital libraries and archives : technology, history and future – Dr. Eng. Rosen Petkov and Boryana Savova, Student Computer Art Society (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

10:55 – 11:15      Coffee break

11:15 – 11:30         DRM for digitized cultural heritage in Bulgaria – Assist. Prof. Kalina Sotirova-Valkova – IMI-BAS (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

11:30 – 11:45         The Complexity of Color Reproduction – Dr. Alessandro Artusi, DeepCamera MRG, RISE Ltd. (Republic of Cyprus) (video, presentation)

11:45 – 12:00         Digitizing and Copyright – Han Adrians, Stichting De Domijnen (Netherlands) (video, presentation)

12:00 – 12:15         The role of digitization in education – Dr. Boyan Blajev – National High school of Polygraphy and Photography (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

12:15 – 12:30         Archiving, digitization and business efficiency – Veselin Stoilov – National Archives Preserving Trust (Sofia Bulgaria)

12:30 – 12:45         High speed digitization best practice – Andrea de Polo – Frateli Alinari (Florence, Italy) (video, presentation)

12:45 – 13:00         The advantages of low-cost digitization in heritage libraries – Maria Teresa Amaral, Mafalda Abrantes Nobre (Mafra, Portugal) (video, presentation)

13:00 – 13:45      Lunch (catering in the lobby of the library)

Panel 2: Mobile (low-cost) digitizing in practice and daily life (practical aspects)

13:45 – 14:00         Digitization of Croatian Glagolitic manuscripts within Written heritage project: from selection through digitization to metadata and access – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mariana Tomic (Zadar, Croatia) (video, presentation)

14:00 – 14:15          Questions and Problems emerged from Digitization Praxis. Case Studies – Prof. Dr. Erich Renhart (Vienna, Austria) (video, presentation)

14:15 – 14:30          Digitizing done, and now online! The Time Machine as an integral example – Dr. Peer Boselie, Stichting De Domijnen (Netherlands) (video, presentation)

14:30 – 14:45          Best library practices for serving users with special needs in the digital age – Prof. DSc Ivanka Yankova, Dr. Eng. Tsvetanka Apostolova, Denitsa Dimitrova, Denitsa Mladenova, Unibit (Sofia, Bulgaria)

14:45 – 15:00         OrCam MyEye: An artificial vision device for blind and visually impaired people – Viktor Sokachev, GoodriveGlobal Bulgaria Ltd. (video, presentation, broshure)

15:00 – 15:15         Coffee break

15:15 – 15:30          Improving Access to Online Sources with the Aid of OCR Technology. The Experience of National Library “Ivan Vazov” – Plovdiv – Ivan Krachanov, Public Library “Ivan Vazov” (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

15:30 – 15:45          Impact of digitalisation tools (3d scanner and 3d printer) on the artwork and its autograph – Dr. Sandra Blazheva, National High School Of Polygraphy And Photography (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

15:45 – 16:00          E-portal of memory and living cultural heritage – Daniela Nedyalkova, Regional Library “Parteniy Pavlovich” (Silistra, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

16:00 – 16:15          The contribution of the University of library studies and Information technologies in the restoration, preservation and digitalization of the written wealth of Bulgaria – Assist. Prof. Dr. Iskra Tsvetanska, Unibit (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video)

16:15 – 16:30           Rediscovering of old documents through the process of digitization in the State Archive – Veliko Tarnovo – Boryana Marinova, Tsvetanka Kucarova, TDA (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

16:30 – 16:45         Scanners suitable for mobile digitization, practices and results – Andriana Georgieva, AYA Msolutions Ltd. (Sofia, Bulgaria) (video, presentation)

16:45 – 17:00       Web 4.0 and Digitalization – Assoc. Prof. Burcu Umut ZAN, Bartın University (Bartın, Turkey)

20:00                       Dinner in restaurant “Ivan Asen”, “Tzar Asen I” sq., Veliko Tarnovo


Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The subject of today’s event – low-cost digitisation of books, documents and images in small and medium size cultural heritage institutions such as libraries and museums – is a relevant and timely question. 

I have a clear message for you today: high quality digitisation of cultural heritage is fundamental. Last month, we adopted a report on Cultural Heritage that precisely makes this distinction: digitisation is good, high quality digitisation is better.

The report shows that among the priorities for digitisation, library and archival cultural heritage is at the top of national agendas, followed closely by museum collections. This is not surprising given the richness of knowledge and art found in European libraries, archives and museums. I was also happy to see the continued support that Europeana – Europe’s digital library – received from libraries and museums, and from Member States. If you are not yet familiar with Europeana, I encourage you to check this wonderful online resource and how it can support your institution in sharing your digitised content online.

Nevertheless, I know that there are still many challenges that regional libraries, museums and small collections are facing. Let me detail three of them.

First, digitisation can seem labour-intensive and costly. Technical challenges, digital skillsets of staff, not to mention appropriate consideration to legal rights of the digitised resources are all part of the digitisation process. I know that smaller, regional libraries and museums do not always have large budgets and staff to cover such topics in a consistent manner.

This is why the Commission addresses these challenges faced by cultural heritage institutions, through legislation, coordination and support as well as funding research and innovation.

For example, under the Seventh Framework Programme alone, the Commission supported fifty research projects, with a total budget of 195 million euros, to make digitisation more accessible for institutions such as yours.

Second, I am also glad that the European Union has successfully adopted a new directive on copyright that includes important provisions for the daily operations of cultural heritage institutions, and for digitisation in particular.

These include a new exception to copyright allowing libraries, museums and other institutions to make copies of works protected by copyright for preservation purposes without unnecessary constraints. This reflects the new ways of carrying out preservation, based on digital technologies.

Importantly, the new rules will reduce the complexity of clearing copyright when cultural heritage institutions want to disseminate out-of-commerce works in their collections. And this reduction of burden can be invested in the actual digitisation projects.

These new rules will help you in your mission to make cultural heritage more accessible to citizens. Cultural heritage institutions have an important role to play in this phase, and I encourage you to do so!

But as digitisation costs are decreasing and copyright rules have been modernised to support libraries and museums in digitisation, what about digital skills? This is my third point.

30 years ago, librarians needed a completely different set of skills than today. And the Commission is very active in accompanying this workplace transformation, notably by supporting projects like Mobile digitising which you know well.

Another example of our action is the Digital Opportunity Traineeships – a pilot project also under the umbrella of Erasmus+ that offers university students and recent graduates hands-on working experience abroad. Already more than 3,000 young Europeans participated and had a chance to improve their skills in data analytics, cybersecurity or software development.

And this is just the beginning as the Commission, as part of the new Digital Europe Programme, intends to dedicate €700 million to ensure Europe has world-class expertise in advanced digital technologies.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention. Your work and dedication in digitisation is important for scientific research, for conservation and restoration, and of course to make content available online so that every citizen can enjoy our shared heritage and values. 

Thank you.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.