Archeology protection also means documentation

Archival documents presented at a press conference held at the headquarters of the National Heritage Institute in Warsaw, May 11. The meeting dealt with the institute’s project. Digitizing and Sharing Digital Cultural Goods – Monuments, Cemeteries, and War Graves
Photo: Albert Zouadeh/PAP

Wednesday 11 May 2022 (6:39 PM)

Surveying and making available more than 1.3 million documents on cultural heritage will be the result of the Digitization and Exchange of Digital Cultural Goods project implemented by the National Heritage Institute. Already more than 700,000 documents from this collection can be found on the historical site.

The project “Digmatization and Sharing of Digital Cultural Goods – Monuments, Cemeteries and War Cemeteries”, implemented with the support of the European Union, aims to digitize documents such as: registration cards, photos, maps, plans, charts, figures and other documents in the National Archives. Heritage Institute and made available online. Actions taken relate to all immovable and archaeological objects entered in the National Antiquities Registry and War Graves and Cemetery Record Cards in the county office archives.

“For 60 years, the National Heritage Institute has been researching and documenting antiquities, the National Heritage Council of Poland and its legal predecessors. So we collect knowledge about Poland’s historical resource, but we also protect Poland’s memory, which no longer exists today, of a landscape that does not exist” – said the director of the National Heritage Council of Poland, Dr. Haap. Katarzyna Zalasieska.

The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Conservator-General of Antiquities, Jaroslav Selin, noted that “one of the essential elements for the effective protection of antiquities is the documentation of their state of preservation and the values ​​they represent, consisting of the creation and collection of information, including images, charts, drawings, diagrams and figures” .

He added that “preservation through documentation is a scientific record of the spatial form of the monument in order to preserve it in the scientific awareness and through it in the collective memory of the community.” As he said, “The experiences of Polish conservatives in rebuilding or reconstructing monuments which seemed to have been irreparably lost as a result of the destruction of the Second World War, clearly prove the correctness of this statement.”

The Deputy Minister of Culture stressed that “thanks to the great efforts of Polish conservatives, who often risked their lives, valuable documents were successfully restored after the war, traces of our history, important for national culture.”

He noted that “the experience of the last century, as well as the recent events that we observe since February, which is Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, also directed against the country’s cultural assets, requires constant development of documentary projects related to politics.” The material heritage of our country.

He reported that as part of this process, the Governor-General of Antiquities, through the forces of the National Heritage Board of Poland, administers the National Antiquities Register in the form of a set of registration cards in the Provincial Registers of Antiquities, which are kept by the Conservatives.

He stated that the project covers “all immovable objects and monuments listed in the National Antiquities Register as well as war graves and cemetery registration cards found in the county office archives.” “In my opinion, the implementation of this remarkable project, which will eventually include the digitization of more than 1,300,000 documents, will allow a wide audience to get acquainted with such a large amount of professional knowledge about Polish antiquities for the first time. And most importantly, it will be free entry “- notes Celine .

The National Heritage Institute has created the website, which provides information about Polish antiquities as well as their descriptions and multimedia content. Visitors can view and submit archival photos, scan documents from the National Antiquities Registry, 3D models, panoramic photos or the archaeological site.

The actions taken will lead to the creation of a large-scale database with information on historical buildings, cemeteries and war cemeteries, as well as the collection of informational data about them on the websites of the National Heritage Institute – and There you can find folk monuments included in the Register of Antiquities, objects from the UNESCO World Heritage List, monuments entered by the President in the List of Historic Monuments, objects included in the National Register of Immovable and Archaeological Monuments, as well as records of war cemeteries and cemeteries. also allows you to inform the local official about endangered monuments.

The aim of the project is to ensure universal and free access to the resources that were present on a daily basis in the collections of the National Heritage Council of Poland. Thanks to digitization, information about monuments, cemeteries and war cemeteries will be widely available.

The value of the project was estimated at more than 37 million PLN, of which more than 31.5 million PLN come from the EU budget under the Poland Operational Digital Program. The rest was donated by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

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