by Stefano Sbarbati


The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information was created in 1951 with the task of producing the entire national bibliographic record. ICCU is an Institute of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT).

ICCU manages the National Library Service, the union catalogue of over 5,200 Italian libraries, and it is responsible for providing the standard rules and regulations for cataloguing all types of materials ranging from manuscripts to multimedia documents. The institute offers also a storage service to libraries and museums.

ICCU has a deep expertise in digitisation standards and guidelines and coordinates on behalf of the Ministry major digital cultural heritage projects at national level such as Internet Culturale, the portal of the digital resources of the Italian libraries, and CulturaItalia, the national cross domain aggregator for Europeana. At European level the expertise of ICCU’s staff is on the coordination of top level European initiatives in DCH, such as MINERVA -the series of 3 projects that run from 2002 to 2008 for the harmonization of the policies in DCH– and more recently the projects for contributing content to Europeana like: ATHENA, Linked Heritage, ATHENA Plus,. ICCU coordinated also projects to bring the CH on the “wave” of the e-Infrastructures: DC-NET project, INDICATE and DCH-RP that investigated other political and technical domains of the relation between the DCH sector and e-Infrastructures. ICCU is also partner in many European Project, such as PARTAGE, EUROPEANA PHOTOGRAPHY, EUROPEANA AWARENESS, EUROPEANA SOUND, AMBROSIA, and ARIADNE, a research infrastructure in Archaeology. In these projects the contribution of ICCU has mainly concerned the accessibility and interoperability of digital cultural content for a wide categories of stakeholders, elaborating policies and strategies for the development of an infrastructure for cultural heritage.

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MiBACT-ICCU participates in PARTHENOS for the collection of user requirements about data policies based on the indications of a wide research community. It will also analyses issues on IPR, Open Data and Open Access for the implementation of common policies and strategies for accessing data. It will collaborate for the definition of a common framework for Interoperability and semantics.

ICCU is federated in the Authorization and Authentication Infrastructure (AAI) and it is accessible via EduGAIN. The Institute is part of the users community of the INDIGO-DataCloud project, that is developing a new European CLOUD software platform for the scientific community.

Sara Di Giorgio, sara.digiorgio@beniculturali.it

Andrea Tempera, andrea.tempera@beniculturali.it

Alessandra Stella, alessandra.stella@beniculturali.it