digitizing and preserving religious artifacts at The Menebere Selama Kesate Birehan

Mekelle:  24 January 2024 (Tigray Herald)

By Yerga Yaecobe

The needs
To establish a comprehensive strategy for digitizing and preserving religious artifacts at The Menebere Selama Kesate Birehan Aksum Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Tigray, follow these steps:

Planning and Assessment:

Conduct a thorough assessment of all religious artifacts, including manuscripts, statues, symbols, and other objects of significance.
Identify the scope of the digitization project, considering the historical, cultural, and religious importance of each item.
Security Measures:

Implement strict security measures to prevent theft and looting. This may include surveillance systems, secure storage facilities, and controlled access to the artifacts.
Inventory Development:

Develop a comprehensive inventory by registering and coding each religious artifact. Assign unique coding numbers to every item for easy identification.
Categorize items based on their historic, cultural, or religious significance.
Digitalization Process:

Acquire state-of-the-art structured light scanners for digitizing artifacts. Ensure the equipment is suitable for capturing intricate details of manuscripts, statues, and symbols.
Create a dedicated digitization space within the church premises equipped with appropriate lighting and environmental controls.
Secure a Digital Database Center:

Establish a Digital Database Center in Aksum, Tigray, equipped with servers, storage systems, and backup solutions.
Implement a centralized digital management system for organizing and storing digitized artifacts.
Digitization Workflow:

Develop a standardized workflow for digitizing artifacts, ensuring consistency and accuracy in capturing details.
Train staff or hire professionals with expertise in handling digital scanning equipment.
Quality Control:

Implement a rigorous quality control process to review and verify the accuracy of digitized artifacts.
Regularly update and maintain the digital database to reflect any changes or additions.
Access Control and Permissions:

Implement strict access controls for the digital database. Define roles and permissions for individuals who can view, edit, or manage the database.
Documentation and Metadata:

Document detailed information about each artifact, including its origin, history, and cultural significance.
Attach metadata to each digital file, providing additional contextual information.
Regular Audits:
Including registering all rock hewn churches in Tigray and other religious institutions.
Conduct regular audits of both physical and digital artifacts to ensure their integrity and security.
Periodically review and update the digitization strategy to incorporate technological advancements.
By following these steps, The Menebere Selama Kesate Birehan Aksum Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Tigray can establish a robust and secure system for digitizing and preserving its religious heritage.

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