Cultural Heritage in Digital Environments

dc4From 3D reconstructions of historic sites, to creation, use and preservation of born-digital music; from visualization of large-scale historical resources, to social tagging of museum collections—digital technologies are transforming the ways in which culture is produced, presented, and consumed.

We will explore aspects of cultural heritage in digital environments through a set of readings, online sources, and class exercises.


Cultural heritage is an important cultural, economic and political resource, and one of the main ways in which people present their native and encounter new cultures.

We will start with a brief comparison of cultural legacy in digital and physical environments, and then turn to some of the most important features of digital cultural heritage.

More specifically, we will analyze examples of cultural heritage in a variety of digital settings, such as YouTube, Flickr, and Second Life, and examine issues such as trust in representational validity of digitized and/or born-digital artifacts; ontology of digital objects; benefits and challenges of user-generated content (e.g., complementing institutionally provided content vs. introducing unreliable content related to sensitive multicultural issues).

Looking under the surface

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