Title:Developing a National Strategy for Multimedia Cultural Heritage
Authors:Jean-Louis Pascon
Publication:MW97: Museums and the Web 1997

The emphasis given to information acquisition and dissemination for cultural organizations is clearly reflected in some recent important public statements, including that of the June 1991 document adopted by 34 governments issued by the Conference of Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE). Greater emphasis was given to this subject at the last meeting of the G7 nations in Brussels, where it was specified that "culture is a key dimension of the Information Society." In most European countries, long-term efforts have been undertaken to preserve, describe and index cultural heritage. More recently, many public authorities and private entities have begun digitizing important parts of this heritage. Over the past several years, public sector cultural organizations have put a greater emphasis on knowledge dissemination to different types of user communities - both domestic and foreign. As a consequence, increased importance has been directed to satisfying the needs of different user "publics." Such efforts are leading to the development of market segmentation -- involving distinguishing different user subgroups, where each is characterized by an homogenous set of needs. This approach results in the development of different types of services to address the needs of different targeted user populations. In this context, interactive multimedia technologies enable cultural organizations to implement strategies of content dissemination which takes into account the alternative ways information can be structured and communicated to different publics. This paper will examine how strategies for multimedia cultural heritage infrastructures and products are being formulated in France and the policies that are being adopted.