Mass digitization of cultural heritage objects is an urgent need: In Germany, this is the common ground on which stakeholders from multiple fields have formulated a “wake-up” call to political decision-makers. Whether perceived as the last chance for the preservation of soon-to-be-lost culture, as in Syria (e.g. the Syrian Heritage Archive Project), or as an opportunity for education and inspiration through free access to museum objects (e.g. Europeana), digitization enables people to see and use cultural material beyond its physical limitations.
As research on these objects is a key factor in achieving these goals, digitization methods should meet academic quality standards and the large scale of the work to be done demands coordination. Within the humanities research community, the combination of digitized sources and digital technologies has propelled innovations and led to new methods which have been grouped under the term digital humanities.