Prof. dr. Rimvydas Laužikas

Researchers, when discussing the impact of digital ICT in the sphere of cultural heritage and memory institutions, usually emphasize their technological value, paying less attention to the social aspects of the ICT impact. But, the investigations of other sectors enable us to discuss the new concepts of heritage and the changes of the heritage functioning in society in the overall context of digital culture. One from these concepts (followed by new functions) is the concept of “sharing heritage”, based on the more general concept of “sharing economy” as socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources, which includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations and create additional value through sharing. Application of “sharing” concept in heritage means the building of particular socio-economic ecosystem around the sharing of heritage information in a broader sense (raw data, structured information, knowledge and experience, interpretations and etc.) and creation of additional values more not through ownership, but through sharing and more not by experts, but by “crowds” using the participatory ways.

In this context, the heritage is contemporarilized, it functions not so much as objects and/or knowledge of the past, but more like the element of the present culture. Thus the line is being erased between the history (which belongs to the past and represents past culture) and contemporary culture. The history and heritage essentially becomes a present – like a tool of modern culture, modern entertainment industry, identity construction, political communication, etc., acting not so much as a place (cf. genius loci, lieux de mémoire), but more like the idea of people communities (cf. CIDOC -CRM, E28 Conceptual Object) which were displaced with the help of different kinds of digital infrastructures.

Estonian Librarians Association