The Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information (ICCU) is an Institute of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities, and Tourism (MiBACT); it manages the National Library Service, the union catalogue of over 5,200 Italian libraries, and is responsible for providing the standard rules and regulations for cataloguing and for digitization of CH. 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 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. Thanks to the collaboration among cultural institutions, research area and einfrastructure in DCH and to the Europeana’s related projects, ICCU established an excellent network of cultural institutions that represents a significative users community for Datacloud project proposal.