Digital Cultural Heritage

An initiative #KultūraNamuose (only in Lithuanian)

The goal of digitisation of Lithuania’s cultural heritage is to transfer unique and valuable cultural heritage to a digital form. National memory institutions collect and protect valuable cultural heritage, which is important for the preservation of Lithuanian identity and cultural distinctiveness, the development of education and art, and the enhancement of society’s creativity and cohesion. Digitisation makes it possible to bring cultural treasures to the public and enables such riches to be accessed remotely.

Lithuania’s policy for digitisation of cultural heritage is being implemented based on:

  1. The Concept of Digitisation of Lithuania’s Cultural Heritage;
  2. The Strategy for Digitisation of Lithuania’s Cultural Heritage, Its Storage and Access to Digital Content;
  3. The Programme for Actualisation and Preservation of Digital Cultural Heritage 2015-2020;
  4. The Action Plan for the Implementation in 2020 of the Programme for Actualisation and Preservation of Digital Cultural Heritage 2015-2020.

The general principles for the development of the virtual cultural heritage space are as follows:

  • consolidation of resources and capabilities.
  • coordination and cooperation on digitisation, dissemination of and access to digital content.
  • ensuring integrated access to Lithuania’s digital cultural heritage as a one-stop source.
  • orientation to meeting society’s needs.
  • reuse of digital cultural heritage.

National digital policy

Policy for digitisation of cultural heritage in Lithuania is coordinated by the Ministry of Culture (Memory Institutions Policy Group) together with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation (since September 2018) and the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania. The Council for Digitisation of Lithuania’s Cultural Heritage provides expertise and consultations on issues in digitisation policy making, implementation, and monitoring and reviewing. The Rules of Procedure of the Council.

The Vice-Minister of Culture Rimantas Mikaitis sits on the Digital Agenda Council, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation.

Digitisation of cultural heritage activities in the national memory institutions is coordinated by the national network of 15 digitisation competence centres:

  • national level (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, Lithuanian Central State Archives).
  • regional level (M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Lithuanian Sea Museum, Šiauliai Aušros Museum, county public libraries).
  • sectoral level (Vilnius University Library, Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, public institution Lithuanian National Radio and Television).

Since the beginning of 2020, the system of statistics on digitisation of cultural heritage has been in place to consistently monitor and analyse the state and development of digitised and digital resources of cultural heritage and evaluate the impact of measures taken to achieve the strategic goals of the cultural heritage digitisation policy, and to initiate qualitative changes.

Digitised cultural heritage of cultural and scientific significance is available through:

  • e-paveldas (a virtual digital cultural heritage information system). The system is based on a database of digitised objects, which currently contains about 3 million pages of digitised objects (archive files, manuscripts, books, posters, paintings, graphics, photographs, and digitised images of other objects).
  • LIMIS (Lithuanian Integral Museum Information System). The Lithuanian Museums Centre for Information, Digitisation and LIMIS is a specialised department of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art. Its purpose is to ensure that information on the cultural heritage accumulated in Lithuanian museums is integrated into the common digital space of the Lithuanian and European cultural heritage.
  • e-Kinas (Lithuanian documentary heritage on the internet). The aim is to create conditions for the preservation and dissemination of the film heritage accumulated in the Lithuanian Central State Archives by creating a digital archive of Lithuanian film and access to it via the internet. On the initiative of the Lithuanian Film Centre, a total of 39 copies of fictional films of significance to Lithuanian film history and 6 documentary films stored in foreign repositories and archives have already been acquired. They have been transferred for permanent storage to the Lithuanian Central State Archives.
  • LIBIS (Lithuanian Integral Information System of Libraries).
  • EAIS (Electronic Archive Information System). The system was developed in response to the constantly increasing amount of information stored in documents, registers and information systems, the cost of storing so-called “paper” documents and the need for a unified information search system of the National Document Fund (NDF).
  • The LRT Mediateka of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television, a public institution, has accumulated a unique audiovisual collection open to the public since 2008. Videos and films converted into digital media are free of charge and easily accessible. This is a fine example how to preserve nowadays audiovisual resources for future generations.

Since 2016 methodological information on the digitisation of cultural heritage is available on the website (administrator – LIMIS Centre).


Europeana Strategy 2020–2025: Empowering digital change.

To ensure targeted promotion and dissemination of the Lithuania’s cultural heritage in the European cultural heritage space, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania (Order No. ĮV-560 of 13 November 2008 by the Minister of Culture) has been assigned to represent the country on the European digital cultural heritage platform Europeana. 199,200 (report) of digitised Lithuanian cultural heritage objects in 2019, and 225,713(report) in 2020 were available through Europeana platform.

Lithuanian memory institutions actively participate in Europeana initiatives to promote digitised heritage: Europeana 1989, Europeana 280, Athena Plus, Europeana Space, Europeana Photography, etc.

UNESCO Memory of the World Programme

The programme was launched in 1992. The aim is to actualise documentary heritage worldwide and spread the message about the special collections of documents held in public and private archives, museums, and libraries.

The following collections of documents related to Lithuania are inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register:

  • (from 2009) The Baltic Way – Human Chain Linking Three States in Their Drive for Freedom. The Baltic Way was an important event for the world at the end of the twentieth century, bringing together the three Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – to seek the restoration of independence.
  • (from 2009) Radziwiłłs’ Archives and Niasvizh (Nieśwież) Library Collection is a joint application from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation, Finland and Ukraine. The collection was created from the 15th to the 20th centuries by one of the most powerful families of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Radziwiłł family. The Radziwiłł Archive was essentially the official archive of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
  • (from 2017) The Act of the Union of Lublin document. This application was submitted by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The only extant Act of the Union of Lublin in 1569, preserved in the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, is a document of the union from the Lithuanian side with the seals of 78 Lithuanian nobles.

The UNESCO Memory of the World National Register.

Representatives of the Memory Institutions Policy Group at the Ministry of Culture participate in the Lithuanian National Committee ‘Memory of the World’.

European initiatives

The European Commission’s Expert Group on Digital Cultural Heritage and Europeana (DCHE), approved by a decision of the European Commission in 2017, is a forum for cooperation in digitisation, and online cultural material and preservation.  It assists the European Commission in monitoring progress and assessing the impact of the implementation of the European Commission Recommendation on digitising and digital preservation and related Council Conclusions. Representatives of the Ministry of Culture participate in this expert group.

In the 2019 Declaration of Cooperation on Advancing the Digitisation of Cultural Heritage, 27 European countries called on the European Commission’s Expert Group on Digital Cultural Heritage and Europeana (DCHE Expert Group) to contribute to the development of common guidelines for comprehensive and holistic documentation of European 3D cultural heritage assets.

As part of their contribution, the DCHE Expert Group, also using the input of external experts, has drawn up Basic principles and tips for 3D digitisation of tangible cultural heritage.

Studies, conferences on Audiovisual heritage

In 2020, a study ‘Analysis and Recommendations for Development of a System of Conservation of and Access to Lithuanian Audiovisual Cultural Heritage’ (only in Lithuanian) was conducted by the NGO ‘Meno avilys’, with the commission of the Ministry of Culture.

On 5 November 2020, an online international conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, was held to discuss management, dissemination, emerging challenges, and new opportunities of audiovisual heritage. Presentations were made by experts from Europeana, Wikimedia and ICCROM as well as from Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Polish, Dutch, and Swedish institutions and organisations (programme and recordings in English).

3D scanning of cultural heritage

In 2021-2022 the ‘Feasibility study for the application of artificial intelligence and hardware to 3D scanning of cultural heritage objects’ is being prepared by the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology (project leader Gediminas Molis) in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Research Council of Lithuania.


In 2017, The Methodology and Guidance on the Assignment and Labelling of Rights of Use of Digitised and Digital Cultural Heritage was developed together with an electronic creative rights labelling tool ‘Digital Content Labelling Manual and Tool’. This tool is designed to identify and label works, related subject matter and non-protected subject matter under the international Creative Commons licences and Europeana’s digital platform for cultural heritage objects, used to assert rights, the Rights Statements. It is accompanied by a user manual explaining in detail complex legal terminology and the use of rights in an ordinary user-friendly language.


In 2017, a study was carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, Research on the Use of Electronic Cultural Heritage Services, by UAB “DIZI” (in Lithuanian, summary in English).

The Memory Institutions Policy Group at the Ministry of Culture is responsible for the cultural heritage digitisation policy.

Last updated: 18-11-2023