London, February 28, 2020 – NTT DATA Corporation has built a digital archive system for the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA) project, being conducted by the ASEAN Secretariat to digitize the valuable historical cultural heritage of ASEAN countries*. The first phase of this project has been completed, with a digital archive created of 160 cultural assets from Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The cultural heritage archive will be made publicly available from February 27, 2020, for anyone in the world to view online at the ACHDA website. This system supports the images, audio recordings, and video data that are available on other NTT DATA digital archive systems, as well as an expanded capability to handle three-dimensional models of physical objects.
The second phase of the project, supposed to begin from fiscal 2020, will be to digitally archive cultural assets from Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos, and make them available on the archive site. Going forward, the project will be expanded to include all ten ASEAN member states in the future.
This project is being conducted with financial support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), established in 2006 with the contribution from the Japanese government.
Example of 3D objects archived in ACHDA (“Belt Buckle” held at the Department of Museums Malaysia)
Background and Objectives
The ASEAN region has a population of more than 650 million, with diverse ethnic groups, religions, races, and cultures. Under its motto of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”, ASEAN pursues cultural projects to foster a sense of integration and promote greater unity. As part of this effort, the ASEAN Secretariat is integrating the cultural communications of the ASEAN region, which had previously been conducted on an individual country basis, and in 2018 began the ACHDA project to promote cultural exchange within the ASEAN region and ensure that cultural assets of high historical value are passed down to future generations, as well as provide an opportunity for people outside the ASEAN region to experience this heritage. NTT DATA has developed the historical cultural heritage digital archive system for this project.
About the Digital Archive System
Previous digital archiving projects focused on capturing image, audio and video data of valuable objects such as documents. This project has allowed digitization of precious 3D objects, including shape, color, and texture data to be preserved and made available to the public. This has been achieved by expanding the capabilities of our digital archiving solution AMLAD® to prevent cultural heritage assets from being lost due to disasters, accidents, and aging, and to allow long-term preservation.
The ACHDA digital archive site has been launched online on February 27, 2020, allowing anyone from around the world to freely access the cultural heritage of ASEAN nations in digital data form.
Future work is being considered by the ASEAN Secretariat, and NTT DATA plans to further contribute to ASEAN by digitizing cultural heritage assets and building a sustainable digital archive system in all 10 ASEAN countries.
Comments from the ASEAN Secretariat, Japanese Embassy, and NTT DATA
Kung Phoak, Deputy-Secretary General of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community
The ACHDA project is an important step in ASEAN’s pursuit towards enhancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the region. I hope ASEAN citizens using the website will better appreciate the shared cultural heritage and instill in them a greater regional sense of belonging as we work towards fostering ASEAN identity. Today’s launching of the ACHDA website is timely as we celebrate the 2020 Year of ASEAN Identity.
Akira Chiba, Japan Ambassador to ASEAN
Anyone can access many cultural heritage easily and instantly through this ACHDA website anytime and anywhere. This is an innovative project benefitting not only ASEAN but the whole world. It is my pleasure to see advanced Japanese technology playing an indispensable role to launch this project using JAIF.
Katsuichi Sonoda, Senior Vice President, NTT DATA
I am truly honored that NTT DATA’s information technologies can contribute to the preservation and sharing of ASEAN’s precious cultural heritage through the ACHDA Project. It is my sincere hope that the value of this initiative will be widely known throughout ASEAN, and that by conveying the precious cultural assets of the present to future generations, new culture will be fostered.
About the AMLAD Digital Archiving Solution
AMLAD manages and utilizes a full range of digital content, including images, video and audio, owned by museums, libraries, archives, corporations and other organizations. It was developed by NTT DATA to give the people of the world the opportunity to pass along cultural assets, the treasures of humanity, to future generations utilizing new information.
In 2018, the digitization of 3,000 historical handwritten documents held by the Vatican Library using AMLAD, to preserve and share them publicly, was completed. It has also been used by the world’s leading cultural institutions, including Japan’s National Diet Library and Koyasan University. NTT DATA plans to expand its efforts to preserve and utilize cultural heritage assets through digital archive technology throughout the world.
1. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional cooperative organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Laos).
* AMLAD is a registered trademark of NTT DATA Corporation in Japan, CTM (Europe), and the United States.
* Other product, corporate, and organization names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
Examples of cultural assets that have been digitized
“Prajnaparamita Sculpture” (National Museum of Indonesia)
“Pig-legged Manuscript Cabinet” (National Library of Thailand)