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Online discussion: New technologies and the preservation of cultural heritage

This discussion focuses on the technologies that are creating new knowledge about cultural heritage – on where we are now, and where we go next. Among the subjects to be discussed are new possibilities for image and information analysis, new technologies of display, and the problem of long-term digital archiving.

Chair: Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group, Chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council


  • Brian Cantwell Smith, Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human, Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto
  • Sarah Kenderdine, Professor of Digital Museology, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
  • Frédéric Kaplan, Professor and Digital Humanities Chair, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
  • Carol Mandel, Distinguished Presidential Fellow, Council on Library and Information Resources and Dean Emerita of New York University (NYU) Libraries
  • William Owen, Founder of Made by Many


The three, 80-minute, online discussions bring together contributors to Factum Foundation’s new book, ‘The Aura in The Age of Digital Materiality – Rethinking Preservation in the Shadow of an Uncertain Future’, with other experts from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. In particular, the discussions will consider the increasing prominence of high-resolution recordings of cultural heritage and their place in the display spaces of the present and the future. The discussions focus on the potential of new technology to influence the nature of access, ownership and understanding while addressing fundamental questions about originality and authenticity, relics and replicas, context and movement.