Bolshoi Theatre director Lidia Kharina tells Computerworld UK the data will help the museum provide the capacity, reliability and accessibility of its archival needs.
The Bolshoi Theatre Museum has completed a major project to digitise a range of historical documents, with the aim of making the information publicly accessible and searchable via its website.
Four thousand volunteers helped scan 8,000 historic posters, 120,000 programmes and 100,000 rare photographs from the 192-year-old Russian theatre’s museum archives, in order to convert them into digital formats.
“The three key objectives of the project are to rediscover, preserve and share the Bolshoi Theatre’s history, as part of the world’s cultural heritage,” Bolshoi Theatre director, Lidia Kharina, told Computerworld UK.
“The project helps to uncover previously overlooked facts, patterns and insight. It also helps protect and preserve the artefacts by creating digital copies. And lastly, it is important to make the archive easily searchable and accessible to the public all over the world.”
Kharina said that it was previously impossible to find a full and consistent record of a specific performer’s roles at the Bolshoi, for example, or when they had their debut on stage. “Questions such as these will be easy to answer with the new digital archive,” she explained.
As with all large scale digitisation projects, the Bolshoi Theatre Museum faced a number of technical challenges in converting documents to machine readable formats.