The MICHAEL project (http://www.michael-culture.org/) aims to open up worldwide access to the cultural heritage of the Member States of the European Union over the internet. MICHAEL aims particularly to provide simple, quick and smooth access to the digitised cultural heritage, whether in the form of individual national electronic portals, electronic catalogues or directly in the digital collections of museums, galleries, archives and libraries throughout Europe. MICHAEL is a project supported by the European Commission (hereinafter the Commission) via the eTen programme. MICHAEL will serve not only students and researchers, but also the broad public in the support of cultural and artistic activities and in particular, cultural tourism.
Defining the relationship between the MichaelPlus and TEL (or TEL-ME-MOR) international projects: the definition of the European Digital Library was vividly discussed at the time of Great Britain’s EU presidency; from a relatively narrow characteristic limited solely to libraries and information sources of the European Digital Library, conclusions were adopted at a meeting of the Member States’ Ministers of Culture in November 2005 based on which the European Digital Library is defined as a joint initiative of all memory institutions with the objective of mediating their information and cultural potential. Two basic documents were adopted within the fulfilment of the aforementioned objective – the “National Representatives Group: Terms of Reference” and the “Dynamic Action Plan” relating to the current and future activities of memory institutions of all the EU member states and their observers. The representatives of the EC and the TEL and Michael projects clearly expressed support of the activities concerning the digitisation of movable cultural heritage. TEL was identified as a project including libraries and their activities within the building of the information society and Michael as a project supporting these activities primarily in the world of museums and galleries.
MichaelPlus and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic:
The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic has become a partner of the projects (via the Department of Conservation of Movable Cultural Heritage, Museums and Galleries – OMG) in 2005. Given its nature (description of selected collections that exist in electronic form, translation into English, interconnection with databases in the cooperating countries) it follows from the building of the Central Registry of Museum-type Collections (CES) within the mandate of the OMG. The project was intended to be understood as an extension of the existing CES system at the time of accession to it. The amount allocated to the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic was determined at € 337,127.70.
The building of the MichaelPlus platform will make it possible for the Czech Ministry of Culture to present its activities and the projects of its contributory organisations. The project also fulfils important strategic documents of the EU at a national level:
a) the digitisation of cultural heritage resources represents one of the priorities of the Revitalised Lisbon Strategy, after which followed the introduction of the Commission’s i2010 and Dynamic Action Plan initiatives; the Czech Ministry of Culture acceded to the latter at the time of Great Britain’s presidency of the EU;
b) strategic documents for the 2007 – 2013 plan period of the Structural Funds that also have information society building as their priority and the Czech Republic is actively involved in their preparation.
The MichaelPlus project is a presentation of a prestigious European project fulfilling all the strategic objectives of the above-mentioned strategic political documents, which results in the creation of the eCulture platform at the national level.
A workgroup comprising nominated representatives of the individual specialised departments was created at the Czech Ministry of Culture. The main task of the workgroup is to coordinate the content of the national project platform.
Main activities according to the Technical Annex, Grant Agreement No. C029254 (Call 05/1):
The project is divided into Workpackages (WP), each accurately describing the individual activities and presenting the implementation of the project. Czech Ministry of Culture is not a WP leader. The schedule of each WP is divided into Milestones, which represent measurable results of the individual parts of the project and the project budget is also structured by the Milestones. The cash flow calendar is also determined by the rules of the 6th Framework Programme, whose control is again structured by the Milestones.