Ensuring access to information about culture
With the purpose of ensuring access to information about culture, a number of programmes have been carried out in order to popularise the cultural heritage of Armenia (historical and cultural monuments, elements of intangible cultural heritage, museum collections) and present it to the international community.
Virtual museums, interactive games and virtual exhibitions have been created, and touch-screens and other advanced technologies are used at new permanent exhibitions as a result of the introduction and implementation of electronic information systems, websites and virtual exhibitions..
Different databases including information on cultural values in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and Armenia and cultural heritage abroad have been created with the purpose of organising museum exhibitions and possessing comprehensive information. The electronic information database on cultural values can be set aside from among the databases. Based on a unified format, it forms an integrated digitised image of the entire mobile cultural heritage and ensures the quick and facilitated use of information about the heritage for different purposes. It includes data on the above-mentioned heritage that is available for the public, irrespective of the form of ownership of collections and separate values, time of creation and place of storage. The database includes data on the collections and values that are the property of the state and on a voluntary basis, the property of legal and natural persons. The database will be replenished in phases between 2015 and 2020.
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, in cooperation with “360yerevan.com”, has implemented a project for taping virtual travels within the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia. Thanks to the project the whole cultural heritage of Armenia (more than 100 historical and cultural monuments) is presented to the world through virtual travels (360armenia.com). It was a complement to the already launched www.360yerevan.com, which featured museums in Yerevan, becoming a new platform for virtual visits and the presentation of stories.. As a result of implementation of the programme, visitors of the web site can find themselves on the streets, in the museums and near the historical and cultural monuments of Yerevan and share their impressions, stories and memories.
In addition to the website of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, there are also websites of the major cultural institutions of Armenia (e.g. website of the National Gallery of Armenia: www.gallery.am, History Museum of Armenia: www.historymuseum.am, etc.), which, in their turn, provide data on past and upcoming programmes and events.
Works for updating the website of the National Gallery of Armenia are underway (there will be data on 27 780 museum values). Works for the creation of databases of Armenian photography and cinematography have been launched.
Since 2013, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia has been creating virtual museum tours within 19 museums of its system (History Museum of Armenia, “Zvartnots” Historical-Cultural Reserve-Museum, House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian, House-Museum of Alexander Spendiaryan, etc.), allowing visitors to go through museum halls and have a picture of the exhibition of the given museum.
A new and interesting idea was the creation of the Virtual Carpet Museum, which is aimed at preserving this element of intangible cultural heritage and popularising the collections of carpets at six museums of the republic (History Museum of Armenia,National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan History Museum, Hovhannes Sharambeyan Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, State Ethnographic Museum “Sardarapat”, and the Treasury of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin). The launch of the website also laid the foundation for scientific studies — different research studies, as well as books and articles devoted to Armenian carpet art will be posted on the website, allowing foreign scientists to deepen their knowledge in this sphere, as well as reconsider their opinions and scientific claims in regard to the origins and sources of carpets.
A hall equipped with 3D technology was created within the Hovhannes Tumanyan House-Museum where child visitors can watch the fairy tale “Unlucky Panos” by the great writer and actually take part in the actions. This was the first animated film, and there will be other fairy-tale-like “worlds” over time.
The collections of the libraries of Armenia have been digitised since 2012. As a result, the books, journals, magazines, newspapers, maps, posters, theses, dissertations, musical notes, postcards, stamps, calendars, book-plates, banknotes, archive and other materials of the National Library of Armenia and the main scientific library of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia have been digitalised. They are available at www.nla.am and http://www.flib.sci.am/arm/index.php. The “Armenian periodical” and “Armenian book” consolidated electronic databases have been set up.