Accessing Russian culture online: The scope of digitization in museums across Russia

Inna Kizhner, Melissa Terras, Maxim Rumyantsev, Kristina Sycheva, Ivan Rudov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We compare the scope of museum digitization in the Russian Federation, a country with diverse cultural heritage and over 2,300 museums, with the scope of digitization in Europe as measured by the Enumerate Survey of 355 museums from twenty European countries initiated by the Collections Trust, UK, in 2011. Our article shows that the reach and scope of digitization in Russia is lesser than that of European museums. Digitization is mainly done in Russia for inventory purposes. The share of digitized objects published online is comparable to that in Europe if we consider images published on museum websites; however, much content from Russia is not licensed as reusable, partly due to the different legal framework that exists there. The article challenges the perceptions that global heritage collections are becoming more visible and accessible. It shows that future digital analysis of cultural heritage may be only possible with corpora of images provided by museums that publish numerous images from their digital collections online while pursuing the policies of free image reuse alongside open licensing. Such corpora may not be found beyond a limited number of Western collections, which may result in excluding many cultures from humanities research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-367
JournalDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
Volume34
Issue number2
Early online date19 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Russian culture
  • digitisation
  • digital libraries
  • libraries
  • museum
  • museum studies

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