Monday, 11 April 2016 13:51

Help conserve Cyprus cultural heritage

old pictures will be digitalised via LoCloud old pictures will be digitalised via LoCloud

Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage and the Research Laboratory of Digital Heritage of the Cyprus University of Technology (www.digitalheritagelab.eu) is asking for citizens’ assistance to help preserve it.

“Cyprus has over 100,000 Facebook users; 75% of them upload a minimum of two photos per day,” explains Dr Marinos Ioannides, professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Information Technology and coordinator of the research laboratory.

“We are asking them to give us their pictures — preferably the old ones, which will help us document and preserve the island’s rich culture.”

Introducing digitalisation
Together with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Informatics (IMMIFP), the European Information Centre and Europe Direct Limassol, the laboratory recently hosted a conference on the digitisation and promotion of archival collections of Cyprus.

The aim was to inform small and medium cultural institutions, private and public bodies, individuals and communities about cultural heritage digitisation.

During the conference, Ioannidis talked about the research programmes in which the laboratory is participating and explained LoCloud (www.locloud.eu). LoCloud is a network of 31 partners which explores the potential of cloud computing technologies to enhance the European digital library, Europeana.

Funded by the European Commission, LoCloud started in 2013 and will run for three years.
The online portal Europeana (www.europeana.eu) provides access to millions of digitised items from European museums, libraries, archives and multimedia collections which has given European citizens access to 49 million objects from National Libraries and Cultural Institutes of Europe in less than five years.

Via LoCloud, the CUT Research Laboratory which was created in 2103 and is EU-funded, offers free services designed to archive, preserve and promote the archival-sized cultural institutions, private and public bodies, individuals and communities in the European Digital Library Europeana.
The digitised photo collections, newspapers, books and audiovisual material are then made directly accessible through this platform to anyone interested in the Cypriot cultural heritage.

Citizens’ input
Ioannides stresses that to achieve the objectives of the European LoCloud Programme, the active involvement of stakeholders with relevant material at their disposal is necessary.

“Protecting, preserving and presenting Cyprus’ cultural heritage is paramount: especially as we are living in a period characterised by rapid and marked changes in the environment, in society and technology. Our message is ‘Behind us is the memory of our parents, in front of us are the eyes of our children’”.
Citizens are encouraged to contact the research laboratory via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 25-002069 to share their old photos (or negatives) of villages, of first public works, of associations, people and events.

Images sent by e-mail should be at least 300dpi. Photos we will be scanned, edited and thus preserved for generations to come.

“They are a memorial to the rest of the world of relatives, many who are no longer with us, and are evidence of their existence. “Each picture has a story to tell.”

So far, 50% of all municipalities and 22% of the island’s villages have been covered and the aim is to cover all of Cyprus to preserve the cultural heritage of the entire island.

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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