CARARE is a best practice network funded by the European Commission’s ICT Policy Support Programme.
Digitisation, the process of creating a comprehensive digital record of an object or site, has been a priority in the field of cultural heritage for many years as this ensures the creation of a permanent record of cultural heritage, ensures greater access to information, develops sustainable heritage and provides support to tourism, education and media industries (Lund Principles, 2001, (ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/ist/docs/digicult/lund_principles-en.pdf). Over the past years, Heritage Malta has invested time, funds and effort in the digitisation of the sites and collections under its care. Through these efforts, it is now the keeper of digital records on part of the national collection, which includes the complete catalogue of the artefact collection from Ta’ Ħagrat, as well as some of its sites including three-dimensional models of six of the prehistoric sites. The challenge is now to make such information accessible to managers, researchers and the general public alike.
In 2010, Heritage Malta joined CARARE. CARARE, is one of a number of projects, which contribute to the development of Europeana, a digital library which brings together digital resources from approximately 1500 institutions across Europe which include museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. CARARE’s unique contribution to Europeana is two-fold: the introduction of digital content for archaeology and architectural heritage; and the addition of 3D and Virtual Reality content to the digital library’s resources. Within the CARARE initiative, Heritage Malta will be adding to Europeana records of archaeological objects starting with part of its prehistoric collection and a number of sites. Additionally, where available, this will be complemented by 3D models to add an extra dimension to the record.