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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

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A.Sürül 3 , H. Ôzen 3 , M. Tutkun 3
3 KTU, Department of Architecture,6 1080 Trabzon/TURKEY (ayca, ozen, m tutkun )@ktu.edu.tr
KEY WORDS: Cultural Heritage, Recording, Documentation, Database, Digital, Web
Today, detailed comprehensive documentation and recording of the cultural and natural properties are the most important stage at the
beginning of the preservation works around the world. Because of the rapid urban growth, keeping the urban identity under the
pressure of the globalization world and the economic development has negative impacts on the cultural heritage everywhere.
Therefore properly prepared national heritage inventory list became very important phenomenon and a social responsibility for
preparing an acquired world cultural heritage list for developing preservation strategies and policies.
It is knowing that broad comprehensive inventory work, interdisciplinary study group, easy accessibility in terms of sharing
materials, producible and widespread data, definable sources, systematic and current information help to develop the sufficient and
successful restoration works. The reliable restoration projects in the short period of time can be produced based on the concept of the
data, methodology and with the similar or standard type of database. At the same time, the wide range usage of the computer has
made this study avoidable nowadays.
With the direction of the above objectives, the city of Trabzon has been selected as the case study because of its rich and diverse
cultural heritage. The study has focused on developing an digital inventory database for documentation and recording cultural and
natural properties.
The results of this study help to developed reliable database can be a contribution to create the local and national digital cultural
inventory. Further, it is an important issue to share them on the electronic or digital environment when we consider them as a
universal cultural heritage for humanity.
Preservation of the cultural heritage has been considered an
important phenomenon contemporarily in many countries
because they are collective memory of hundred years of
civilization from the past. Objectives, techniques, methods and
practices of the historic preservation discuss frequently at the
national and international level last few decades as a common
problem for many historic cities today. Thus it is important to
define the problems and its solutions to determine how do and
where do start a preservation work and what do protect at the
The most important step at the beginning of preservation work
is considered to have a detail documentation and recording
process of the historic and natural heritage. Because without
precise documentation process of the historic structure it is
difficult to prepare a suitable restoration project for the old
buildings and their environment.
Today, historic cities and their cultural heritage are under the
pressure of globalization. Identity of historic building and
environment is cause to demolish with the rapid urban
development and economical growth. Thus, it seems to be a
social responsibility to create a national cultural heritage
database to be able to create dependable historic data. So that it
is a need to establish and to illustrate the historical significant of
the building and of its detail.
The objective of this study is to develop a Digital Cultural
Heritage Database for the city of Trabzon and to provide a tool
to share this database with other users by help of network
facilities. Computer base inventory system will enrich various
type of information usage about the cultural heritage both
publicly and privately as well as individual structure and
distinct base.
The short definition of documentation is to “physical recording
of the building and its environment'’ (Kuban. 2000). According
to another definition is “recording the visual apperance and
assesing the realtionship of structure to near environment by
photographic, drawing and written material” (Ahunbay, 1997).
At the same time recording the present condition of the structure
and its environment helps to asses the deterioration,
demolishing, changing and threaten on the structure over the
years and making interpretation based on this évidents. Boundry
of documentation study depends on many factors; in what way,
how and what percentage of it will be done and used for the
future research.
During the recording, the goal of historic preservation project,
the value of the building, financial sources are take into
consideration. Another important issue is that recording the
present condition of the historic building without considering
what should be (Fitch, 1990).
The following sources can be use during the documentation and
recording process: Old photopraph; miniature, engraving,
sketche, painting; old maps and atlas; archeological data; local
newspaper and other publications; tax and porperty ownership;
personal archives; architecture drawing and project; oral
history; travel notes; accounting, construction and repairmen!
notebooks; site notes and observation (Ahunbay, 1999: Madran
2001 ; Anonymous7).
2.1. Objectives of Documentation
“Cultural Inventory List” is aim to protect and document the
natural and historic heritage include following objectives:
■ Documentary value of the heritage: Architectural
monuments are the most important evident of history.