Belgian scientific and cultural heritage
The DIGIT-04 programme is a project of the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) that aims to support the digitization of the considerable heritage patrimony of Belgium, which resides in the federal museums, libraries, research institutes and archives. This collection of artworks, natural science artifacts, historical photographs and documents, outdated carriers of data and audio-visual material, etc. are vulnerable to the passing of time or the evolution of technology. Digitization is the most effective way to ensure that the precious knowledge they contain and history they represent is never lost.
Digital copies of the artifacts also prevent the originals from being handled when used for research or other purposes. Furthermore, a digital database will allow for easy access by researchers both inside and outside Belgium, as well as the interested public.
Preserving the history of space science
At the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, the collection of artifacts is composed of photographs and videos in various formats, data and analyses of space missions of the past, publications and science communication about these missions, as well as parts, flight and test models of instruments used in space missions or stratospheric balloon flights.
In 2019 and 2020, over 4100 photographs and projector slides have been collected and carefully catalogued and digitized. They contain both scientific data collected by our predecessors and pictures recording the many scientific missions and conferences that BIRA-IASB has undertaken in Europe, the United States and Russia since the establishment of the institute by Marcel Nicolet in 1964.