Armenia Looks to Digitize Cultural Artifacts from Around the World

Armenian cultural artifacts such as this 13th century illuminated manuscript will be digitized and made available to the public

YEREVAN (Arka)—Armenia’s government approved Thursday an initiative to create an extensive digital archive of Armenian literature and other cultural artifacts, found both in Armenia and abroad.

Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan said 44 state organizations will be obliged to provide material for digitizaiton, while private and overseas owners of collections can do so voluntarily.

She said that 19 museums administrated by the culture ministry have completed digitization, which has been carried out selectively.

“Many cultural articles are kept in state or proprietary collections, but not always in a proper, readily available format; and many of them have no electronic versions,” she said. “This makes comprehensive presentation and cataloguing of cultural legacy and research more complicated.”

The minister also said that the new electronic system will lessen illegal trafficking in these valuable articles.

According to the draft decision, the funds necessary for development of software and database as well as other technical matters will be allocated from the 2015 government budget.

All the procurements and technical services are planned to be ready by August 1, 2015, and digitization of the cultural articles and creation of their database will be carried out over a period between 2016 and 2020.

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