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San Marino/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The State Archive has been working since early 2004 to convert documents into digital format. This will enable users to acquire a better knowledge of the documentary sources in the Archive and prevent their deterioration, while promoting their use and dissemination in electronic form. An archive series - the historical population register, old judgements, Status animarum(parish family books), the Captains Regent's correspondence from the 14th to the 16th century and the Registers of the Great and General Council from 1500 to 1899 -, have been included in the web site (see chapter 9.2). Some of these documents represent working tools that are particularly interesting for San Marino citizens, while others are aimed at scholars outside the Republic. In April 2005, a popular petition was filed to conduct a study on the strengthening, adjustment and modernisation of the State Archive so as to protect and safeguard the heritage preserved therein. In July 2005, the San Marino Parliament accepted the petition and urged the government to proceed with the study. As a consequence, in autumn 2005, the Ministry of Internal Affairs rented premises to adequately house and preserve all documents and correspondence from the Public Administration offices, as State property. In 2012, San Marino Parliament approved the law on "Protection and preservation of the Republic's documentary and archival heritage" (for further information, see chapter 4.2.2).

The State Library maintains the database "Sebina" containing 17 500 bibliographic references available in its collection. Input to the database has slowed down in recent years due to a re-evaluation of the system, updating appropriate software and the development of a special interface to enable the database to be put online.

Since 2003, the Permanent Study Centre on Emigration has promoted a plan to devise an information system for research and the management of collected data and documents. It is a "Memory Archive", conceived in a way so as to overcome the physical and logistical constraints of traditional museums, and make it available all over the world through the web. San Marino communities abroad have access to this archive. Its availability on the web enables non resident citizens to carry out personal research and / or studies. Most importantly, it allows those wishing to cooperate to send documentary material or data on emigration collected on-site, in order to complete and enrich the database of the Permanent Centre.

The Law on Electronic Documents and Digital Signatures, passed in 2005, is a single text which is part of a broader project on IT security, distribution of Internet services on the public data network, introduction of document e-archiving services and interactive provision of services to citizens. This important law stipulates some principles at the basis of a new technological and cultural transformation project. Indeed, the Public Administration reform, through an innovation and modern approach to the use of documents, will be, most of all, a cultural challenge, which will radically change communication systems among citizens, enterprises and the central administration. The result will be a higher level of quality, efficiency and effectiveness and a complete transformation of the approach to and use of documents.

The Ente Cassa di Fetano Foundation and the State Archive have been cooperating to build an online digital archive enabling an increasing number of people to access the rich San Marino archival resource. Four surveys have already been completed covering the period 1865-1947. The archive of vital records was further completed with the collection of the "Books of Souls" which were kept by parish priests in the second half of the 18th century. Hopefully all this documentation will be integrated by other historical records kept in parish archives.

In 2009, the Ministry of Education and Culture started a research project to survey San Marino cultural goods. This work, which is being continuously updated, aims at collating the public and private heritage by classifying it into artistic groups (antiques, pictures, painting collections, etc.). The Ministry intends to digitalise the material collected over the years so that it can be accessed through the website of the Ministry.

On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of its establishment, Cassa di Risparmio promoted the project entitled "Alceste", to support and favour the use of multimedia devices in the Republic's schools. Thanks to a Convention signed in February 2013 with the Ministry of Education and Culture, all schools in San Marino are now provided with multimedia interactive whiteboards, in order to effectively promote innovation in education and to strengthen and motivate students' learning. With regard to information technologies, San Marino schools are already in line with the best European standards. This modernisation process has been further accelerated by the introduction of the above-mentioned whiteboards, which represent a historical innovation and a precious tool for training.

2 March 2014 marked the end of an era for San Marino cinematography, being the day of the switch from film to digital, and therefore of the transition to D-Cinema. This resulted in the simultaneous termination of projections in 3 of the 4 cinemas on the territory. Only the Cinema Concordia in Borgo Maggiore, more modern than the others and centrally located, has been equipped with digital technology for the screening of films. The spending review has certainly favoured the transition to digital, with related costs much lower and quality far superior. The choice was also made, however, to streamline the use of cinemas. The beginning of the digital age was then accompanied by some changes relating to ticket prices, which have remained unchanged, and the introduction of special promotions including a reduction by 20% of the cost of tickets on Fridays. In addition, on weekends, additional screening hours have been added.

At the end of 2014 a pilot project on the State Museum was launched, combining new technologies and San Marino cultural traditions, a mixture of "innovation and culture". The multimedia "app 4guest museum", available in different languages and free of charge, provides for each work and object a file containing multimedia contents in order to make visits more interesting. The project is expected to be extended to other museums, in order to enrich on-site visits, to stimulate curiosity and serve the interests of a wide range of visitors.

In the same period another project was launched concerning the second tower, called "Cesta": a 3D virtual journey outside and inside the fortress, discovering the collection of ancient and modern weapons exhibited. This three-dimensional project is currently available on Facebook, in order to make visits more interesting for the tourists and to stimulate the curiosity of potential visitors. The idea is to extend the project to the three towers and to the scenic routes connecting them and to advertise it on various promotional web channels, social networks and multimedia totems.

In April 2015 the first part of the inventory of the artistic and historical goods contained in the monumental building of Basilica del Santo (Saint Marin's Basilica), dated between the 15th and the 21st centuries, was completed (for more information, see chapter 4.2.2). 1 700 goods, including vestments, liturgical texts and objects, paintings, sculptures, furniture, and documents, have been cleaned and an analysis carried out of their characteristics and state of conservation; the objects were then labeled and entered in a digital database. The archives now contain all necessary information, including location and high-resolution images, allowing for in-depth analysis without handling or damaging the goods.

Chapter published: 07-10-2015

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