Implementation of new information and communication technologies in the cultural field is one of the main priorities of the national cultural policy in Azerbaijan. Therefore, relevant programmes and projects affect the development of new technologies and digitalisation in Azerbaijan, affecting the arts and culture.
The “E-Government” project was structured following the National Strategy on Information-Communication Technologies for the Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2003-2012). With the aim of broader use of information communications technologies (ICT), the project envisages increasing the rationality and optimality of the activity of state agencies, increasing communication among the population, business bodies, and between themselves. In addition, the project is contributing to better citizen-official relations, ensuring transparency and fully meeting the need for information.
The implementation of the Strategic Roadmap for the Development of Telecommunication and Information Technologies in the Republic of Azerbaijan (December 6, 2016), the effective organisation of the formation, storage, maintenance and integration of state information systems and reserves necessitates the creation of a centralised Government Cloud (G-Cloud). The National Data Centre of the Government Cloud is establishing under the concept of the creation of the Government Cloud (G-Cloud), and measures in the field of providing cloud services approved by the Decree of the President (June 3, 2019) and the Transition Plan developed based on the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers (October 29, 2020). Implementing the Government Cloud project will enable government agencies (including the Ministry for Culture) to reduce their IT infrastructure costs by 25-30%.
Different projects accelerate international IT integration and create new virtual opportunities like e-government, e-trade, etc. The Project Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM) is a project of regional importance, with the aim of laying a transnational fibre-optic line covering the countries of Eurasia from Western Europe to Eastern Asia. The project envisages the creation of a significant transit link from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. The transit line will stretch through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Germany.
The strategy for digitisation of the arts and culture, implemented by the Ministry for Culture, is carried out at three levels:
- Static (content assistance in the creation of databases and registers),
- Dynamic (organisational assistance in the creation of portals and sites) and
- Interactive (representation of institutions and areas of culture and art in global social networks).
The “State Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Azerbaijan” (http://intangible.az) includes:
- A list of more than 5 000 intangible cultural heritage samples.
- A database of more than 850 intangible cultural heritage samples.
- Information on 180 intangible cultural heritage carriers and 68 institutions and organisations.
It was created by the Ministry for Culture in close cooperation with the Institute of Folklore, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Institute of Architecture and Art of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, related public associations and non-governmental organisations, and individual researchers.
The Ministry for Culture created the “Permanent protection portal of museum property” (https://museums.com.az/) to strengthen control over movable cultural values of the country preserved in the state museums. The portal is provided for official use only.
A database covering various fields of national art and creativity of prominent musicians has been created by the scientific-pedagogical, critical-publicist and cultural-educational music magazine “Musiqi Dunyasi”, with the support of the Union of Composers Azerbaijan and Baku Academy of Music.
The state agencies’ virtual resources in the field of culture are mainly the portals of the Ministry for Culture, the State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, the Scientific-Methodical and Professional Development Center and the Baku Main Department of Culture. The cultural sectors on which digitisation has the most impact in the country are museums, monuments, libraries, cinema, creative industries, and so on, selectively presented by portals of:
- Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve;
- Azerbaijan National Museum of Art, Museum Centre, Internet guide on Azerbaijani museums;
- Azerbaijan National Library;
- Azerbaijan film studio named after Jafar Jabbarli, Azerbaijan State Film Fund;
- “Creative Azerbaijan”,
- –Children’s music and art schools; etcetera.