Guide: Digital Transformation in Cultural Heritage

This guide supports the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector across Europe. It is written for the people who work in, around and for the many different museums, galleries, archives, libraries, heritage sites, arts organisations etc. that hold and protect cultural collections and seek to engage audiences with them.

From the autumn of 2021, Culture24 and Europeana Initiative’s Digital Transformation Task Force began investigating the challenges facing the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. The goal of the Task Force was to collectively understand the challenges of the cultural heritage sector and to collaborate together to map out a clear, practical plan of action for the digital transformation of the sector. The Task Force pulled together representatives from the three pillars of the Europeana Initiative – the Europeana Network Association, the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and the Europeana Foundation, alongside two independent representatives. The Task Force also sought the thoughts, opinions and feedback from cultural heritage professionals across Europe.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for digital transformation and it will only happen in response to various individual and organisational contexts, be it size, location, domain, purpose, audience etc. In response, the guide sets out three recommendations to help frame an approach to digital transformation for the whole of the culture sector in Europe:

  1. Language and approach: share a common language and approach to all aspects of digital transformation
  2. Mindset and culture: adopt a mindset and culture that is open to learning and collaboration
  3. Purpose and values: ensure that digital is purposeful and values-driven