Cultural heritage is captured in books, art, and artifacts stored in museums, libraries and other facilities around the world. However, many treasures are in locations where they are unprotected from the risks of degradation or destruction. EMC contributes our expertise to help ensure these cultural treasures are available for future generations to access and enjoy. Through our Information Heritage Initiative, EMC provides products, services, and financial assistance for digital information preservation programs worldwide. Through our Heritage Trust Project, EMC provides grants to local institutions striving to preserve the artifacts under their care. Digitizing not only prevents these pieces from disappearing, but provides access for students, scholars, and others who may not be able to visit these items in person. Since 2007, we have provided more than $40 million in products, services, and financial assistance for digital information preservation programs worldwide.
Information Heritage Initiative
EMC & USEK
For decades, the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon—Land of the Cedars—has been torn apart by political and social upheaval. In this climate of unease and uncertainty, the library at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) has taken on the task of preservation of Lebanese—and, increasingly, Middle Eastern—culture.
Over the last dozen years, the library’s work has expanded to include preservation of:
- More than 10,000 manuscripts from all over Lebanon and the Middle East
- 1,500 rare books
- Archives of works by luminaries in every area of Lebanese society
- Special collections, including treasures such as the first edition of the New Testament in the ancient language of Syriac, edited and printed in Vienna in 1555
- A Latin American Collection
- A newspaper collection with issues dating back to the 1920s of out-of-circulation papers
- A collection of film, photos, and music, and
- Archives of public records such as baptism records and property deeds
Besides digitizing its own projects, the library now also offers digitization services to institutions and individuals across the Middle East.
The USEK team began by digitizing and preserving materials using EMC Isilon® technology, created specifically to store and effectively manage large amounts of data such as the many terabytes involved in the project. The team then created an infrastructure employing VNX® unified storage—which will serve the library and other areas of USEK—along with a backup and recovery system. The next step will be to make the library’s materials available online.
Heritage Trust Project
EMC’s Heritage Trust Project recognizes the importance of local preservation projects. The Project supports community-based digital curation efforts around the world with cash grants to local cultural institutions, archives, or private collections. New grants are awarded every year through an open application process. The 2015 application cycle will open on May 6, 2015.
Beginning in 2012, we showcased the Project on EMC’s Facebook page, where applicants now submit their proposals directly. An internal group of judges reviews the proposed projects, looking specifically at the potential impact and the sensitive nature of the project. The group chooses seven finalists and then a public vote is held to pick the winners. In 2014, 15 countries were eligible to participate in the Project. The three winners are:
Royal Institution, United Kingdom
The Royal Institution hosts an annual series called the Christmas Lectures in which a leading British scientist delivers a series of engaging talks on a scientific topic aimed at audiences of children and young people. The Heritage Trust Project grant will help the organization to digitize and make available online all the lectures going back to 1966, and will assist in finding ten missing lectures. Watch the video: Preserving the Lectures of Christmas Past
The Nikkei National Museum, Canada
The Nikkei National Museum is dedicated to preserving and making accessible photographs and artifacts that depict the treatment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. Grant funding will allow the museum to digitize more of the collection and make these pieces accessible to community members and researchers around the globe.
Folk Arts Rajasthan/Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan, United States/India
The U.S.-based Folk Arts Rajasthan (FAR) and India-based Lok Kala Sagar Sansthan (LKSS) are bound together by a shared vision of a thriving and just future for the Merasi people and culture. The goal of their collaboration is to preserve an intangible cultural heritage on the brink of extinction and achieve social justice for a continually marginalized people. Using a musical narrative framework, the project will digitize long lost stories about the Merasi culture, mystic, and historic origins.
Watch The Video
Literary Legend: Preserving the Hemingway Collection
Through an agreement with the Cuban Government, the Finca Vigia Foundation was formed with the help of EMC to preserve, digitize, and store author Ernest Hemmingway’s legacy for future generations.