In Lithuania, digital policy is mainly implemented in the fields of libraries, museums and cultural heritage.
In 1995, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania started to implement the project of the Lithuanian Libraries Integral Information System (LIBIS). The objectives of the project were to develop a library system that would enable automation of all library and reader service processes; create a union catalogue based on shared cataloguing; adapt integrated library information resources to customer service; extend the infrastructure created by LIBIS and develop the existing software tools. LIBIS was launched in 1998. Till 2019, the LIBIS software has been installed in 5 county libraries, 60 public libraries, 1 academic library, Vilnius University Faculty of Communication, 7 other major and special libraries, and 10 Lithuanian museum libraries. The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture allocated 8 627 780 EUR for the project.
In 2005, the Lithuanian Government approved the Concept for the Digitisation of Lithuanian Cultural Heritage. This policy paper defined the goals and objectives of digitisation of Lithuanian cultural heritage and established a special coordination body: the Board of Digitisation of Lithuanian Cultural Heritage.According to the Strategy, the goal of the digitisation of Lithuanian cultural heritage is to transfer unique and valuable pieces of cultural heritage into digital form. The objectives are the following: to create an integrated information system of Lithuanian cultural heritage based on uniform standards and information usage agreements, ensuring long-term preservation of digitised information and access to it; facilitate the long-term preservation and use of the cultural heritage by providing its digital copy and information on it; promote the actualisation and dissemination of the Lithuanian heritage in the context of world cultural diversity; and contribute to the creation of an integrated information space on European cultural heritage.
By 2009, 80 000 objects of cultural heritage were digitised, but only 42 per cent of them were available through the Internet.
In 2009, the Lithuanian Museums’ Centre for Information, Digitisation and LIMIS, department of the Lithuanian Art Museum, started to implement the project of the Lithuanian Integral Museum Information System (LIMIS). The aim of the project was to establish an integrated system for Lithuanian museums heritage digitalisation and to create common digital content of national cultural heritage by digitising information about unique and valuable cultural heritage objects, art and literary works, and information about the most significant historical and social phenomena. The portal www.limis.lt became available for users in 2012.
In 2009-2013, almost 70 million LT (about 20 million EUR) was allocated for cultural heritage digitisation initiatives. The result of these investments was a national infrastructure for the digitisation of cultural heritage, which provided a basis for further investment in this area.
In 2008, in order to ensure targeted dissemination and promotion of the country’s cultural heritage within the European digital platform for cultural heritage, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania was entrusted with the representation of the country in the European digital library Europeana. At the end of 2015, Lithuania contributed over 159 000 digital cultural heritage objects to Europeana and was actively involved in initiatives organised by Europeana to publicise digital heritage, such as Europeana 1989, Europeana 280, Athena Plus, Europeana Space and Europeana Photography.
In 2015, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture approved the 2015-2020 Programme for Digital Cultural Heritage Actualisation and Preservation. The Programme established the general principles for the development of virtual cultural heritage: consolidation of resources and capacities; cooperation and coordination of the digitalisation, digital content dissemination and access processes; the assurance of integrated access to Lithuanian digital cultural heritage according to the one stop-shop principle; orientation to the needs of society; and the reuse of digital cultural heritage.
Digitisation activities at national memory institutions are coordinated by national (the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Art Museum, the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Central State Archives), regional (the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, the Lithuanian Sea Museum, the Šiauliai Aušros Museum, county public libraries) and sectoral (Vilnius University Library, the Wroblewski Library, the National Radio and Television of Lithuania) competence centres in digitisation.
Digitised heritage with cultural and scientific significance is represented in the Virtual Electronic Heritage System (VEPS). The main tasks for the system are to integrate the digitised cultural heritage at all of the country’s memory institutions, to create opportunities for seamless digital content search and access via a national portal, and to ensure effective dissemination of Lithuanian cultural heritage. The basis of the system is a database of digitised items which currently contains three million pages of digitised objects (archive files, manuscripts, books, posters, paintings, prints, photographs and digitised images of other items).