Over the 1980s and ‘90s, various Genoese cultural bodies carried out numerous scientific projects in the bibliography, archive and museum fields, whose survival is now threatened by the problem of technological obsolescence. The issue of long-term preservation, in fact has come to the attention of the scientific community only in more recent times.
The recovery of these informative assets in standard systems is the only way to avoid the loss of the financial resources invested in them, and their restoration in the form of open data, semantically structured or connected, will allow their reuse for new developments in scientific research. Collaboration between groups of historians and knowledge engineers has allowed the survival of this information and its entry into the world of big data.
The “Memorie Digitali Liguri” (Ligurian Digital Memories) project is part of an organic programme of activities aimed at the safeguarding, development and promotion of Ligurian archival and bibliographical assets, promoted by the Società Ligure di Storia Patria in collaboration with other cultural bodies active in the Liguria region and with the vital support of the Compagnia di San Paolo as co-financier.
The programme started with the Digital Library project by the Società Ligure di Storia Patria (2012), whose partnership, in ensuring the digitalisation of the bibliographical heritage it publishes, has implemented the computer system for the management of its own digital library, used later also to gather digital items of other kinds through the macro-project Liguria Storica Digitale (2013-present). The idea is to use the computer system of the Società to create a hub for digital items concerning the history of Liguria, resulting from the digitalisation of archival series and manuscript collections also held by bodies other than the Società itself (City of Genoa Historical Archive, the ‘Berio’ Civic Library of Genoa).
It consists of databases, archival inventories and digital libraries set up through the following applications:
The project has involved the following collections: