Document archives are typically stored on paper. In the next 20 years, both in the public and the private sectors (such as public administration, banking, insurance and finance), it will become impossible to handle them this way because of their increasing size. One possible solution will be to put all future information into electronic archives. The aim of the VENIVA project is to set up a pilot application of a virtual archive with a hypertextual interface that should become, through the implementation of the complete set of activities, an extensive example of such an information system, one that could be an answer to the growing needs of the sectors mentioned above.
The major technical objective of the project is to integrate different technologies into a single system. These include such technologies as geographically distributed databases, MINERS hypermedia interfaces, and full-text retrieval systems. In this respect, the project will use results obtained in the previous MINERS Project (EP 6530). That project successfully investigated the integration of hypertext and database technologies. The MINERS results will be applied and extended, with new features added. The project will also test a network connection between the different sites of the Virtual Archive. The network service will be implemented through a background system of launch, search and forget. In addition, it is expected that the services will be extended to Internet WWW users by providing them with powerful features for exporting x-Mosaic sub-products. The pilot service will include indexing of the objects, scanning of images, development of the electronic platform, creation of the network, planning and/or use of all the software required, and selection of the hardware.
The core idea of the VENIVA pilot application is remote access of documents (paper documents, hand-written and printed books, drawings, maps) preserved in Venice, Corfu, Crete and Vienna. More precisely, it will provide virtual access to:
- documents and images belonging to Notaries of Candia and Duke of Candia archives (1240-1706); these are held in the Record Office of Venice (the world's biggest and most prestigious archive, containing 90 kilometres of shelves of records which are the ancient archives of the Serenissima, the documents belonging to the central and peripheral offices and the notary records)
- historical documents of the National Archives of Greece
- iconographic collections of sketches, drawings and maps of Crete preserved by Marciana Library of Venice, such as the journal of the War of Candia (1637-1669)
- documents from the Record Office of Vienna.
From an application point of view, the historical archives, once integrated and accessible as a unit, will constitute a single virtual archive available from any point connected to the system from anywhere. The pilot will be used as a test-bed for a new management system for innovative services to be offered by libraries and archives, which will facilitate dissemination of cultural heritage by enabling remote access.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts