In step with the world – presentation of the platform of the Digital cultural heritage of Novi Sad

The extreme importance of the project Digitization of cultural heritage of Novi Sad was evident after a very successful and attractive public presentation held at the Cultural Center of Novi Sad. The mixture of the past and the most advanced technologies left a striking impression at the audience. The fact that the guests were able to use special mobile devices to test the platform designed by the latest world technologies  for themselves, while at the same time costumed „citizens of Novi Sad from 19th century “ walked around the room, contributed further to the  festive atmosphere of  the event. The Museum of Novi Sad, Novi Sad Historical Archives and the city library have complemented the entire event with an appropriate exhibition.

The Cultural Center of Novi Sad, in cooperation with the City of Novi Sad and the public utility company „Informatika“, only a few months ago has launched a project of digitization of cultural heritage of  Novi Sad. At the beginning of the project it was announced that the first phase will be completed by the end of the year, and with the yesterday’s launch, on the day of Saint Nicholas , this was fulfilled – numeric heritage, which currently offers  about 200 items available for research, was set and launched. Mr. Gordon Duguit , Deputy Ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, not hiding his satisfaction, addressed the audience, saying: „I ​​am very pleased that this project will help collection and preservation of the cultural heritage of Novi Sad, and that it wil provide the residents of this city approach to this heritage, as well as to those who are visiting the city . On behalf of His Excellency Ambassador Kirby, as well as all of us from the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, I would like to thank the CCNS for the initiation of this platform, as well as a special thanks to our longtime partner American Corner here in Novi Sad. I know that this platform is based on many positive experiences, particularly in the area of public libraries in the United States . What satisfies me is that Mr. Fajgelj after visiting the United States  and getting acquainted with all the methods of the platform, used his knowledge and conveyed it here in Novi Sad, and earned every praise for immediately transferring his  experience in his city . This platform will be beneficial both to Novi Sad, as well as to Serbia as a whole.

On behalf of the public utility company “Informatika”, its managingdirector Dejan Čelar addressed the audience, and announced further technological improvements to this project: “We are in the final phase of equipping a modern digital laboratory that will have superior scanners and graphics processing workstations for the scanned material. We already have servers and systems for data storage, and they will be upgraded in accordance with the needs of the project. That will be a laboratory with specially designed lighting, intended for this kind of project. When the laboratory is completed, settings, and other items of importance will be digitized, or, more precisely, they will form the so-called digital imprint. That is a new medium which is more popular, more visible, and easier for use by a wide audience. The digital imprint, can be a photograph, but it can also be a searchable document, video material, or an interactive 3D model of an object. With this, we are creating a wide basis, that this platform will unify into a whole. Besides digitalizing the material, we are making it available for the world-wide scientific community, and for our future generations. We are bringing closer the spirit of the past and preserving our history”, said Čelar.

Blaženka Marković presented to the audience what the digitalized material from the city library of Novi Sad looks like. According to her, the entire digitized material of this institution which they submitted for review and the use to the CCNS, a number of publications were elected to be represented as digital objects on this platform. On the platform, there are two Constitutions, the Constitution of Serbian Reading Room in Novi Sad, 1861. year, then the Constitution of the Serbian National Theatre, which dates from 1863, as well as the statutes of the city of Novi Sad, which date from 1892 and 1893, which testify of the arrangement of our city in the 19th century.

“This is a big day for Serbian culture, even a historical one. As of today, we are moving in step with the world in the field of digital , or numerical heritage . Until now, the world was running, and we were standing , falling behind , trotting. From now on, we are a part of the race. The digital platform is one of the most advanced in the world at the moment. It is such a leap compared to where we stood, that it will make many people’s head spin. Some will even say, “You should have left us alone, to keep lagging behind.“ We do not agree with that, this day for us is  a realization of a dream. That dream was not realized by itself, but with hard work and cooperation of a large number participants who did their best to make this project see the light of day. In the first place, there is the Mayor of the city of Novi Sad Miloš Vucevic, Mrs. Milnka Brkic , who heads the Department of Culture of the city of Novi Sad and who was responsible for the implementation of the project, teams of the PUC Informatika, a team at the CCNS, and ten cultural partners from the city. Also, we have established one of the few public-private partnerships with the company Pantype , which was responsible for the development of this platform . The most important partner , with the help of which we reached the highest global standards is the U.S. Embassy and the State Department,“ said Dr. Andrej Fajdelj , director of the Cultural Center , who, in his speech pointed out three most important things about this project: „When you digitize the content of the cultural heritage, the first advantage is preservation. If by chance something happens to the original, the cultural heritage will not disappear, for we will have preserved the digital imprint. Another important advantage is the accessibility. We all know that is not easy to obtain valuable artifacts from the cultural heritage . For example, you need to go to a library, fill out forms, wait for what we are looking for to be available, and sometimes we lose hours . With this platform, at a click , you already have before you the required cultural heritage . As for the third thing, where we sort of took over leadership at the global level, is the need to reach out to the modern user.  So, not only are we waiting for our users to approach us, but we offer them access . To our knowledge, this platform is one of the three most advanced platforms in the world. This is an important message where we see and how we imagine Novi Sad in the future . Novi Sad is already a leader in the field of information technology, for in the city we already have a few companies that are leaders in this area, and through this project, the city of Novi Sad expresses a clear desire to be marked on the map of the world , as an important IT center in the world .”

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