Global Heritage, Knowledge Provenance, and Digital Preservation: Defining a Critical Approach
Anaïs Guillem [+]
University of California, Merced
Nicola Lercari [+]
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
This chapter takes a critical look at whether and how digital techniques 'preserve' cultural heritage. By shifting the focus of the at-risk heritage discourse from high-visibility destructions of sites in Afghanistan and the Near East to a global-scale non-mediatized loss of archaeological and historic sites in the name of progress, urban and economic growth, this chapter emphasizes the importance of thorough documentation of provenance for digital cultural heritage objects and a linked open data approach to connect cultural heritage with different communities of interest. The authors point to the potentials presented by crowdsourcing and citizen science in promoting heritage awareness and preservation. The authors also address the sense of urgency in preservation discussed in the volume. They investigate new digital methods and technology that not only generate documentation data on ancient ruins and historic buildings in case of material loss or decay but also critically attempt to track the provenance of information and knowledge describing these heritage places and represent the underlying scientific processes that contribute to their preservation.