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Cultural Exchange via Internet - Opportunities and Strategies
Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 12 October - 4 December, 1998

[as of December 1st 1998 the forum has been prolonged - ... open-ended]

Subject:Introducing Culturelink
Date:Fri, 6 Nov 1998 11:53
Author:Aleksandra Ivir  []

In reply to an invitation by Mr. Gerhard Haupt, I wish to introduce the Culturelink Network and the current status and future development of the Culturelink World Wide Web project to this Forum. I would also like to use this opportunity to invite all those interested in research and cooperation in the field of cultural policies and cultural development to join the Culturelink Network.
   Aleksandra Ivir,

Culturelink, the Network of Networks for Research and Cooperation in Cultural Development, was established by UNESCO and the Council of Europe in 1989. The Institute for International Relations (IMO) in Zagreb, Croatia has been the focal point of the Network since its inception and is the publisher of the Culturelink review.
One of the major aims of the Culturelink network is the promotion of regional, interregional and international research projects (joint projects) such as the "Cultural Policies in the World" project, in which most of our members from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America participate. Besides research, activities of the Culturelink network include development of the Culturelink Databases and publication of the review Culturelink.

The Culturelink Network gathers about 1000 networks and member institutions from 98 countries in all parts of the world. The Network's mission is to collect, process and disseminate cultural information, with the aim of encouraging international and intercultural communication and collaboration. Our members are networks, institutions, organizations and foundations from around the world which are engaged and interested in cultural and artistic development, management and education.

The Culturelink Databases provide information support for all the activities of the Documentation Centre for Cultural Development and Cooperation. It consists of the Cultural Development Database and the Cultural Policy Database. While the former has been established to facilitate information exchange among the Network's members by collecting information about the members of the Culturelink Network, their work, research, activities, and publications, the latter is part of the project on the Current State and Trends of Cultural Policies and Life in UNESCO Member States, and includes bibliographical and referral data on the direction of cultural policies, administrative and institutional structures, financing and legislation, cultural industries, etc.

The review Culturelink is published in English, four times a year, on some 200 pages, and has also appeared in French twice. Its task is to provide members of the Network with information on their activities of mutual interest, including networking, current or planned research projects, research results, reports from and announcements of meetings and conferences, reviews of publications and documents. The review is produced on the basis of inputs received from the members of the Network, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The Culturelink review is sent to more than 1000 addresses throughout the world. It is a record of the current state of cultural development in the world, reflecting the trends in cultural life and policies.

Culturelink on the Internet
Since its inception, the Culturelink Network has used the possibilities offered by the new medium - the Internet - to develop appropriate means of communication and speed up the flow of information. The Network has been online since 1994, first through the Internet Gopher service, and later via the World Wide Web pages first set up in autumn 1996.
Via the Internet, news about the work conducted at the Culturelink Network itself and announcements of other events in the field of cultural development are freely accessible from around the world at any given moment.
The Culturelink Web space offers access to information and news about the Network's activities, past and current research projects, the Culturelink database system (Cultural Policy Database, Culturelink Database, Bibliographical Database), all of its publications, including the Culturelink review, announcements of planned conferences, and links to related sites.
Serving as support to its numerous activities, research projects and the Culturelink review, the Network's databases have been made available via the Internet, facilitating its members' access to information relevant to cultural development and cultural policies. These databases represent a unique source of information about UNESCO and Council of Europe member states.
Part of the long-term plan of the Culturelink Network is the development and implementation of a world information system on cultural development and cooperation research. Seated in Zagreb, Croatia, it would allow not only the use of the databases via the Internet, but also provide a means of conducting interactive Internet conferences.

Culturelink World Wide Web Project
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Forum of the House of World Cultures, Berlin, on the use of Internet in the cultural exchange with and between Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America. 12 October - 4 December, 1998

Project direction: Gerhard Haupt -
©  House of World Cultures, Berlin. 1998