Workshop on `Museums in
The globalisation of the economy and of information and data
network access accentuated amazingly by the computing revolution
that we had experienced during the last decade of the 20th century
brings us into the new millennium with a new and multistrategical
and extensively ever expanding set of interrelationship between
societies and individuals. If, as we believe, museums should
play a major role in cultural activities and also in conservation
and protection of historical and artistic heritage within their
communities, then we can not afford to ignore these tremendous
changes in the world of infotech for our mutual benefit.
Addressing a two-day workshop on 'Museums in cyberspace' organised
on 17-l8th March, 2001 by the Indian National Committee of International
Council of Museums (INC-ICOM) in collaboration with the Indian
Museum at Kolkata, Dr. R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar, ex-Union Secretary
of Culture advised the museum professionals to take proper legal
protection relating to contractual agreements of cultural properties
while going in for benefits of new information technology. Delivering
his inaugural address the Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University,
Prof. Asis Banerjee said that the subject of 'cultural economics'
has not received proper attention . Since social benefits exceeds
the private benefits in the area of museums, it is difficult
to estimate the individual's demand. Dr. Saroj Ghose, ex-President,
ICOM, Paris stated that with the utilisation of info-technology,
the museums can now recreate the ambience of the age in a visitors
friendly way. Presiding over the valedictory session Dr. Shyamalkanti
Chakravarti, Chairman, INC-ICOM and Director, Indian Museum and
National Library, Kolkata urged the leading museums and institutes
of the country to develop e-learning courses on practical aspects
of museography and computer literacy training for museum professionals
of India. INC-ICOM will soon launch its own web-site, he added.
The all India workshop was attended by two hundred delegates
consisting of museologists and cyber experts from Nagaland, Orissa,
Assam, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi. The following speakers
delivered lectures on the subjects as stated below :
Shri Abhijit Dasgupta, Video production in museums-past &
present; Dr. Saroj Ghose, Introduction of info-technology in
museum; Sri Amiya Baran Saha, Information Techhology Act, 2000;
Shri Robin Ghosh, E-learning programme for museology; Dr. Suparno
Chaudhury, Museum in broad band era; Dr. Samar Bhattacharya,
Low cost multimedia production of cultural unit; Dr. Ashok Banerjee,
Developing cyber museums issue's and realities; Ms. Uma Mazumder,
Down memory lane - digital recording of documentary heritage;
Dr. Abijit Mitra, Leveraging web; Dr. B.M. Mehtra, Electronic
copyright management system.
On the basis of the recommendations and ideas generated at
the professional workshop on Museums in cyberspace to promote
inter-disciplinary dialogue between museum professionals vis
a vis IT professional the following was resolved :
· Info-technology in museums be introduced in keeping
with the present development in the field.
· Computer training for the museum professionals be taken
up in right earnest.
· Every museum should open website on all aspects subject
to availability of resources.
· INC-ICOM will try to impart computer literacy among
the museum professionals by organising various workshops on :
· (a) Awareness of Info-technology in museums, libraries
and archives in the north eastern states.
· (b) Patent and copyright act in connection with protection
of cultural and intellectual property rights.
· Preparation of INC-ICOM website and publication of website
addresses of the museum's and museum professionals in the INCICOM
· Distance E-learning training amongst the museum professionals
--P. K. Palit