The importance of arts and cultural heritage is unquestionable, helping citizens to develop emotional and cognitive processes. The cultural sector faces a number of challenges, from digitalization of their collections to create digital surrogates, to curation and interpretation, to showcasing and exhibition. The traditional model of the cultural experience as passive observation is decisively shifting to active, interpretive engagement. Cultural heritage institutions are rethinking and reworking their spaces to promote deeper understanding of their collections and mission, greater interactivity with their audiences, a fuller range of activities, and a more advanced usage of immersive technologies. They are exploring as well how to make their collection accessible remotely.
This trans-disciplinary field, digital cultural heritage, requires knowledge and technology from mathematics and computer science, as highlighted by the human-centric vision of the European Commission for a digital society to empower citizens and businesses. As a National research institute in the field of mathematics and computer science, CWI is in a pivotal position to conduct and facilitate research in digital cultural heritage. On 16 November 2023, the institute organized a day of lectures on this topic, providing an overview of the most recent developments and current state of affairs in that field. Guest speakers included experts from both the academic research field as well as the world of digital cultural heritage (British Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza museum).