The Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC) is the State Ministry in charge of cultural heritage documentation, management and protection through its different General Directorates, among others the one for Antiquities. The Ministry is represented in ARIADNE by ICCU, the Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of the Italian libraries, that is entrusted with the coordination of the ministerial digitization activities at the national and European levels.

At the national level ICCU is responsible for two main initiatives related to einfrastructures for digital cultural heritage, Internet Culturale and CulturaItalia, both using the broadband connection offered by GARR, the Italian NREN. Internet Culturale is the portal of the Italian libraries providing access to digital and multimedia cultural resources (over 8,5 M records), including archaeological publications; CulturaItalia, the Italian culture portal enables access to Italian culture with a cross-domain approach. Currently CulturaItalia gathers 3 M records from Italian cultural institutions, public and private, national, regional, and local, including museums.

At European level, ICCU has coordinated several projects since 2002:

  • MINERVA – Ministerial Network for Valorizing Activities in digitisation projects: 2002-2008, FP5, FP6 and eContent+; coordination of European digitisation and online access strategies;
  • MICHAEL and MICHAELplus projects: 2004-2008, eTen programme; developed the MICHAEL portal that provides multilingual access to major European cultural collections;
  • ATHENA – Access to Cultural Heritage Networks across Europe: 2008-2010, eContent+; ATHENA delivered over 4 M museum data to Europeana and elaborated major technical standards like LIDO, the XML harvesting schema, and MINT, the metadata aggregation platform, both widely used in the European project environment;
  • DC-NET – Digital Cultural Heritage Network: 2009-2011, ERA-NET, involved ministries and national institutes from Italy, Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia and Sweden in the coordination of digital CH research programmes;
  • INDICATE: extension of DC-NET to Mediterranean partner countries (2010-2012);
  • Linked Heritage, 2011-2013, whose main goal is to supply Europeana with over 3 M data.

ICCU is also partner of many other European projects, in particular STACHEM, a Support Action funded under the 2008 Infrastructure call, being WP Leader for the survey on digital archaeology.

Role in the project

MIBAC-ICCU will contribute datasets and will provide information about its datasets as part of the standardization and data sharing activities, it will participate in networking and dissemination activities. Through direct agreements ICCU will make available some Italian archaeological datasets.