@rxiomnimon - Integrated archival data management system

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About the project

The project “General State Archives’s Digitization of Cultural Collections” reflects the participation of the national archives of Greece (http://www.gak.gr) in the action line “Education and Culture” of the Operational Program “Information Society” (http://www.infosoc.gr), of the 3rd Community Support Framework (http://www.3kps.gr). The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (http://www.europa.eu.int) and by national funds (80% and 20% respectively).

The archival collections kept in the State Archives are an integral part of our cultural heritage. The wealth of information included is impressive and encompasses every aspect of social, economic, scientific as well as every other activity of the nation.

Traditionally, access to that information – a legal right of every citizen – was possible only via the original copies, by visiting the location those copies are being kept. The use of original documents –occurring more often the greater their importance– and the inevitable damage caused, beyond normal aging of materials, poses another problem concerning their preservation.

This project reflects the coordinated effort of the Central and Local agencies of the General State Archives to provide access to digitized archival documents for the general public, making them available on the Internet, preserving the original documents.

Thirty seven State Archives participate in the project, offering original documents. Their dispersion throughout Greece is indicative of the variety and the chronological range covered by the archival documents.
Registrar and other administrative archives of the Venetian rule from the Ionian islands, notarial archives from Peloponnesus and Thessaly, cadastral archives of the ottoman administration from Macedonia, educational archives from Thrace and Crete, archives of the sovereignty of Samos, of the Ionian State, of the Cretan State and, of course, the archives of the Revolution and the governance of Kapodistrias and Otto, are only some of the “pixels” comprising the mosaic of the digital collections of the G.S.A., spanning 7,360,000 pages and dating from the 17th to the 20th century.

The necessary infrastructure for the creation of the widest possible network for access, presentation and use of digital copies, has been achieved by procuring and providing basic equipment for the recording as well as on-site and online access to the digitized material to all public archive departments throughout Greece.

The project is completed by an integrated software program for the management of archive data, specially designed to cover the variety of archival processes applied by the State Αchives throughout Greece. The immediate benefits are standardization and a more rapid digital processing of the archival material, resulting in faster availability of the archival information to the researchers using the archives, from a remote location, online/real-time, using the active websites infrastructure of the G.S.A.

To ensure international access to the digitized cultural content created within the framework of this project, a translation to the English language –and the language of the digitized original documents– is provided for the indexes and research tools for selected collections of archival documents, complying with the international archival standard ISAD(G).
All the aforementioned actions would not have the desired effect without publicizing, on a larger scale, the creation of digitized archival content by the General State Archives. The active promotion of this project, through events, information leaflets and the creation and distribution of multimedia products is the last but not least part of the general project.

The perspectives for continuing the creation and availability of digital content by the General State Archives are positive. The public Archives now have a powerful managerial tool for the digital material, educated manpower and the proper experience and infrastructure. Its meaningful participation in Information Society depends on the increase of contribution and participation on all levels.

Last Modified: 25/04/2009 14:34
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