Phillip Ramsdale

Phillip Ramsdale

Coordinator of the Numeric Project

Phillip recently directed a collaborative survey to measure the progress being made towards the digitisation of Europe’s cultural heritage.  This “Numeric” study was funded by the European Commission with the intention of establishing an internationally consistent statistical framework for each of the EU member states.  He will provide an overview of the summary results for Europe as a whole, and outline the study’s recommendations for sustaining the statistical series.

He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in the United Kingdom, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and the Institute of Directors.  He has previously undertaken statistical research in the cultural services – notably on libraries for the European Commission and on the flow of cultural goods for UNESCO.


Presentation: Numeric – measuring the digitisation of Europe’s cultural heritage


Abstract: In 2008, representatives from 26 of the EU member states agreed to collaborate on undertaking a survey amongst a sample of their cultural institutions using a consistent approach and questionnaire.  The results provide a unique portrait of the diversity of the types of cultural institution engaged in digitising collections.  He will report on the investment made by these institutions, the types of material they have digitised and their aspirations for future digitisation projects, as well the need for better measures of the accessibility of Europe’s digital heritage.

Statistics, by their very nature, beg more questions.  There are also considerable differences in the manner in which Archives, Libraries, Museums, Film and Broadcasting institutes organise themselves.  The administration and funding of the cultural services also differs in each country.  Further work is required to standardise the definitions and harmonise the measurement of the workflow involved in digitising materials, and he will outline proposals for developing the framework with this mind, recognising the baseline already established by the “Numeric” study.