Digital technologies in conservation of cultural heritage: Digitization and values

Veljko Džikić, Marija Radin

Digital technologies have ultimately changed the way our society works. Nowadays, there is not a single aspect of life we can imagine without the use of computers, smart phones and other digital devices. Heritage institutions are not an exception, and they shouldn’t be. Digital technologies have, althouth slowly, found their way into the domain of cultural heritage. The advantages of digital technology were first used to create digital documentation, information and photographic databases, but also for the research of materials and cultural heritage environment. Digital documentation also includes conservation documentation, thus forming an enormous body of information, which is easily shared and distributed. This ease of access and exchange of information is one of the greatest values of digital files, promoting development of the profession and professionals, at the same time giving the opportunity to the broader public to use it for various purposes. However, do these endless possibilities for creating, processing and using digital files create a different perspective of the concept of the values of cultural heritage? What are the values of a digital document in conservation of cultural heritage? Does the value of cultural heritage play important role in the process of digitization?