In May 2009 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a Resolution, which approved a plan for 2009 – 2013 on the Lithuanian cultural heritage digitization, strategy of digital content preservation and accessibility, and the strategy implementation tools thereof.
The Strategy was prepared following three main documents, i.e. the European Commission Recommendation of 24 August 2006 on the digitization and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation, which encourages the EU member states to accelerate the access to the European cultural heritage via European digital library EUROPEANA; EU Council conclusions on the digitization and online accessibility of cultural material, and digital preservation; and EU Council conclusions of 20 November 2008 on the European digital library EUROPEANA
The Strategy is of great importance to the audiovisual sector as part of the Lithuanian cultural heritage too, because previously a clear and unanimous position on the audiovisual heritage digitization and accessibility was lacking. The Strategy aims at creation of integral cultural heritage digitization system, which would guarantee preservation, access and integration into one consolidated European cultural heritage space and would encourage digitization of Lithuanian cultural heritage units and accessibility to the society thereof.
A number of institutions responsible for the preservation of the Lithuanian cultural heritage, e.g. Lithuanian Archives Department, Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania, etc. take a significant part in the implementation process of the Strategy. The LR Ministry of Culture is a co-ordinator of the Strategy implementation process and is designated to endorse the common content digitization, preservation and access standards.
The public broadcaster LRT (Lithuanian National Radio and Television) is responsible for the implementation of the Strategy provisions regarding the audiovisual heritage. The public broadcaster was chosen for the reason that it is the only one, which in its archives accumulated the greatest amount of audio and video tapes, films and photos on Lithuanian history and its cultural heritage, pre-war and post-war situation, soviet period, and the present Lithuania’s peculiarities. The archives comprise dozens of thousands of hours of filmed material, which has to be digitalized and made accessible to the future generations. It has to be noted, that LRT had started the digitization of its archives back in 2007 from the means of EU structural funds before the Strategy was approved this year, and had already established the digital archives, which are now constantly being supplemented by new digital production.
The above mentioned Plan on the Strategy Implementation Tools determines the tasks necessary to be accomplished in 2009-2013 period, e.g. the Lithuanian documentary film archive and its Internet access are to be developed in the period of 2009-2011; the virtual Lithuanian radio archive library has to be established in 2009-2010. Besides, the Plan specifies the means for the mentioned tasks to be achieved.
It is important to note, that the Strategy implementation will not finish in 2013 for good. The Strategy foresees, that after 2013, the LR Ministry of Culture is obliged to submit to the Government for approval a follow up plan on Strategy Implementation Tools.