Saving the Cultural Heritage of the Kuyavia and Pomerania Region from Oblivion

Thanks to the ‘Culture within Reach 2.0’ Project implemented by the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian and Pomeranian region, the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń already has modern equipment to digitize its resources, as do 15 cultural institutions in the Kuyavian and Pomeranian region. Soon each of us will be able to get to know these unique collections quickly and easily, without having to leave our homes.

Digitalization of the resources of cultural institutions is one of the activities of the ‘Culture within Reach 2.0’ project implemented by the Department of Digitalization of the Marshal’s Office of the Kuyavian and Pomeranian Voivodeship. Digitalization is the preservation of cultural assets (images, photographs, films, books) in digital format. Thanks to digitalization, everyone will be able to browse the resources of their interest on the Internet free of charge and without leaving home. The Ethnographic Museum in Toruń is one of 67 partners in the ‘Culture within Reach 2.0’ Project and has already equipped its photographic studio with modern equipment for digitalization.

The Museum’s holdings currently include more than 65,000 museum artifacts related to traditional and folk cultures. It receives around 1,000 objects annually, which are included in the digitalization work. The collections are very diverse: from folk and non-professional sculpture and painting, through toy-making, cut-outs, ornamentation, textiles, costumes, embroideries, folk and urban clothing, to tools and utensils, musical instruments, furniture, and architectural details. 

Most of these require a special rearrangement of the studio, which the new mobile equipment (including lighting) will help with. A professional macro photography kit equipped with high-end studio lighting will enhance the quality of the digitalization work and facilitate the further use of high-resolution images.

Further activities under the ‘Culture within Reach 2.0’ Project, in which the Museum is participating, still include the digitalization of around 20,000 negatives and 1,500 museum artifacts, as well as 3D scanning of large architectural objects located in three ethnographic parks: Ethnographic Park in the centre of Toruń, Olender Ethnographic Park in Wielka Nieszawka and Ethnographic Park in Kaszczorek.

Once digitized, the project’s digital collections will be prepared for publication and made available online in the form of a ‘virtual museum’ and Digital Guidance Platform, as well as in urban space in the form of Electronic Poster System displays.

Within the framework of ‘Culture within Reach 2.0’, training courses for the employees of the Project Partners have already been held, e.g. on copyright and related rights in terms of preparing collections for digitalization.