Digital Manifesto

The transformation of society by digital technologies, media and practices is accompanied by changing expectations towards cultural and scientific institutions such as the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation).

The SPK is already pursuing a new approach by offering a wide range of services and content both digitally and analog, and it is constantly exploring new possibilities.

In order to successfully manage the digital transformation and harmonize its digital services the Digital Transformation Initiative coordinates the development of a general digital strategy for the SPK. This strategy will describe how to incorporate the fundamental values of the SPK into specific goals and measures in the digital sphere and it will define the decision-making processes needed to get this implemented.

In order to provide a basis for the general digital strategy, a digital manifesto has been adopted by the leadership of the foundation's institutions. It presents the core values of the SPK with regard to digital transformation. This roadmap for the digital transformation of the SPK is intended to serve as a guideline for the next few years.

Digital Manifesto of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Berlin, 17 September 2018

We, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, are issuing this manifesto to present our values in the digital sphere. Societies, cultures, and technologies are changing fundamentally and we are using these changes to continue fulfilling our social and legal mandate – and improving ourselves in the progress. Our mission continues to be relevant and it is becoming even more crucial, owing to the dynamics of change. Even in these shifting circumstances, we stay dedicated to the extensive and diverse collections and holdings that have been entrusted to us. We ensure that cultural property and its contexts can be experienced to the full on a reliable basis. In this fundamental aspiration, we treat digital and analog cultural assets equally. We are aware that there are different understandings of what constitutes digital cultural assets, depending on the area of knowledge, the discipline, and the field of work. We consider this diversity as necessary and regard it as a benefit, and we are ready to deal with this complexity.

Our approach and our strategy: Practicing and implementing the values expressed herein is a responsibility for every part of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and all of its employees. This manifesto forms the basis of the digital strategy and determines its direction. The digital strategy of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz describes how we will incorporate the values stated in the manifesto in specific goals and measures, which decision-making processes we will use to implement it, and which steps will be taken as a result. We will revise the digital strategy regularly to take account of changing circumstances and of our own progress.

Our values in the digital space are listed below, arranged by subject:

Collection: We collect and receive digital cultural assets. To some extent, we also produce them or enhance them ourselves. We consider digital and analog cultural assets to be equally relevant.

Preservation and long-term availability: We preserve digital cultural assets and keep them available for the long term. We cooperate with other cultural and scientific institutions in performing this task and we assist them.

Science and research infrastructure: Digital technologies enable new theoretical and methodological approaches. We therefore use them for our own research, for collaborating and networking with other players, and for shaping the digital research infrastructures of the future.

Outreach: We consistently utilize the potential of digital technologies to publicize our collections and holdings and to communicate our content. Users in the digital sphere and visitors at our locations are of equal importance to us.

Employees: In a time of change, the foundation is increasingly dependent on its employees to help shape its future course. We use digital technologies in the workplace to enable everyone involved to work in a forward-looking way. Wherever possible, we offer our employees a great deal of freedom in the configuration of digital workplaces.

Standards: Our digital services and contents are user-centered, produced to high standards of quality and cater to specific target groups. To this end, we have laid out common standards and workflows for developing our digital services and for digital communication.

Open access: We support open, free access to digital cultural assets and we promote the dissemination and networking of knowledge. Open, free access is a core principle for us, so a valid reason must be provided in any case where access is to be restricted.

Participation: We help to ensure that users can actively participate in the generation and dissemination of knowledge. For this, we also use third-party platforms and channels of communication that are relevant to users.

Cooperation: We practice a culture of openness and the exchange of knowledge – both internally and externally, with other cultural and scientific institutions. We also carry out digital projects jointly with partners and make the results publicly accessible.

Technology management: We undertake long-term and responsible technology management, continually adapting our services so that they can be provided sustainably, reliably, and in the current state of the art. We are committed to protecting the privacy of our users at every step.

Continued development: We use new digital technologies and continue to develop and improve infrastructures, tools, and methods. Together with our partners, we contribute to a new understanding of cultural and scientific institutions.

Goals and learning: We set ourselves specific goals for the digital sphere. We analyze and evaluate our progress, regularly redefine our goals, and thus enable the structured development of our facilities. We experiment and are not afraid to make mistakes, which we treat as opportunities to learn and improve. We remain transparent about our goals and we take an open and constructive approach to our results at all times.