Database puts cultural relics in rightful place

Updated: 2011-06-21 07:59

By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)

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After 10 years of hard work the country has built a sophisticated survey and database management system of cultural relics.

Initiated by the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, in 2001, construction of the system started in Shanxi province and spread to 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

The project aims to collect information and improve management of all cultural relics stored in museums.

By the end of 2010, the project had collected more than 1.66 million pieces of data, among which, 48,006 were data about first-class cultural relics. Every categorized item of data includes no less than 28 indices, including name, age, category, class, material, size and source.

The project also includes more than 3.87 million photographs and more than 305 million text documents.

"The significance of the system draws on a new documentation method, which can not only count the numbers but also record detailed information about preservation conditions," Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, says at a conference summarizing the system in Beijing on June 16.

From 2012 to 2016, the administration will conduct a national census of State-owned cultural relics, which will be more comprehensive than the third census of cultural relics.

"Although China's digitization of cultural relics in museums still has a long way to go, the system has guaranteed a solid foundation for the upcoming census in terms of standards, database, management and human resources," Shan says.

China Daily


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