Define ‘Digital Heritage’

Since 1960s and early 1970s many historians have begun to use computers. Digital technology and tools has helped them to powerfully arrange ideas and promote unique analysis, presentation and access their finding of historical knowledge in online media. The term Digital history’ since then considered as a branch of the ‘Digital Humanities’ (Cohen & Rosenzweig 2006). It is also sometimes mentioned broadly to the use of digital media and tools for historical practice, presentation, analysis, and research. Cohen and Rosenzweig (2006) referred digital history as ‘the gathering, preserving and presenting the past on the web’. According to Wiliam G. Thomas (2008), digital history is an approach to examine and represent the past that works with the new communication technologies of the computer, the Internet network, and software systems.

‘Digital Storytelling’ refers to the act of ordinary people, by which they can tell their own real-life stories by using digital tools. Usually in this case, participants can tell their stories through login in a web portal and contribute through text, image or even recorded voice (e.g. However, ‘Digital story’ is defined by the ‘Centre of Digital Storytelling’ as ‘first-person video-narrative created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds’[1]. Additionally, the project named ‘digital storytelling’ launched by BBC (2009) allowed participants to tell their own story or experience in ‘short movie’ format[2].

The word ‘digital heritage’ itself is a popular word among people’s daily language, which seems a buzzword. The problem of buzzwords is that they are often ambiguous and elastic, open to different interpretations. For example, the book titled as ‘Digital Heritage: Applying Digital Imaging to Cultural Heritage Preservation edited by Lindsay MacDonald (2006) (figure 01); mostly talked about how to get the most out of the latest digital technology for extracting information from historical buildings & artefacts. This book loosely referred ‘digital heritage’ as digitalizing any cultural objects. Articles of this book basically highlighted digital photography and digital image processing tools and its application on documentation and conservation of cultural heritage assets, rather it provides any concrete definition of ‘digital heritage’. In index page; the keyword ‘digital heritage’ has been referred to pages no 460 and 555. But none of these pages offers any definition.


Book cover – Digital Heritage: Applying Digital Imaging to Cultural Heritage Preservation


Centre for Museology, University of Manchester maintain a blog named ‘Digital heritage’ which actually referred to a MA course titled as “Digital Heritage” for the Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the Centre for Museology (source:, dated 02.04.2010). Here ‘digital heritage’ has been referred as an emerging discipline, which includes the theory and practice of digital media in museums, galleries and other cultural institutions. There are also many websites referring ‘digital heritage’ (Google search keyword on digital heritage found 13,200,000 entries on dated 02.04.2010), mostly referring the term according to their own purpose and objective. For example the site called ‘’ refers digital heritage as digitalizing Appalachian culture and tradition (, dated 02.04.2010). By digitizing the Appalachian culture, it refers to a collaborative project between Western Carolina University (WCU) and communities in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region.  Students, staff, faculty and community members work together to produce high-quality essays, images, and multi-media presentations about Appalachian traditions, history, and culture. It has been also found that, some IT companies named their company as ‘digital heritage’ or ‘heritage digital’, serving different ICT solutions and software packages for clients


(Source:, dated 02.04.2010)


(Source: dated 02.04.2010)


[will be continue …………]

[1] Source:, access date 09.03.2010.


5 thoughts on “Define ‘Digital Heritage’

  1. Hello Hafizur!
    I am very glad to find a companion from another part of the world with the same object to study.
    I hope to be in contact with you for interchanging the profesional ideasand experiences.

    sincerely, Irina G.

    • Thanks Irina. It is a pleasure to know someone with same interest. Actually I have become very busy for the last few months and no time to update this blog. Hopefully I am submitting mu dissertation this month. Will be regular in writing from next month.

      Anyway, thanks for your interest. Yeep, we can do future collaboration or sharing our thoughts or ideas.

  2. Hi, ‘inin’. Are you referring the book “Digital Heritage: Applying Digital Imaging to Cultural Heritage Preservation” ? Sorry I don’t have. I borrowed it from the library. The text I published in this blog is from my own dissertation report. Thanks for your comment.

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