The heritage of Belarus is becoming more accessible. How information technology helps to develop culture

The Minsk-News Agency correspondent talked to Mikalaj Tamaszevicz, CEO of PRAS, about promoting Belarus' cultural heritage on the Internet

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— Your company has developed an electronic catalog of the museum fund and a register of book monuments of our country. What benefits do these services provide to society?

Thanks to these Internet resources, a wide range of people can get information about the cultural heritage of Belarus from the comfort of their homes. Unique exhibits are available for viewing 24/7. In 2017–2018, we developed the State Catalog of the Museum Fund. Now you can see on the site more than 2,800 objects of history and art from different museums of the country, but in fact, over 160,000 exhibits are registered in the catalog.

In general, the country's museum fund has more than 3 million items. Just imagine the potential!

All museums were supposed to present their exhibits on this platform, and anyone could take a virtual tour.

Similar to this catalog, in 2019 the Register of Book Monuments was developed. It is slowly being filled. There are already 45,000 items in the database, but only more than 900 are available to users for viewing. These are old manuscripts and printed publications of cultural value. The site has three sections: book monuments, collections, and funds, where the books are actually reposited. Notably, there are electronic copies of publications and they can be read online.

— What is the difficulty of working on such large-scale projects?

A large amount of information has to be systematized and presented in an accessible form. In addition, information had to be submitted for several target audiences: registry/catalog administration, fund custodians and general users. Therefore the sites have several interfaces. We tried to make them as convenient and easy to use as possible, so that anyone could understand and get acquainted with the cultural heritage of our country.

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