According to a Wall Street Journal report, the European Union is asking members to ramp up content conversion projects which would allow crucial historical assets to be preserved in a digital archive.
"Europe has probably the world's greatest cultural heritage," EU commissioner Neelie Kroes told the news source. "It cannot afford to miss the opportunities offered by digitization and hence face cultural decline."
Everything from Middle Ages manuscripts to modern day film stock is expected to go into the collection which, according to the Journal, will be made available for online viewing through Europeana. Project directors have already set a goal of adding 11 million new objects to the catalog by 2015.
This online archiving initiative is just one component of the EU's landmark Digital Agenda program. The project will be facilitated, in part, by a comprehensive broadband modernization project that will cost approximately $13 billion between 2014 and 2020.
In addition to assisting with historical preservation ambitions, the Digital Agenda is expected to transform the online capabilities of EU citizens and businesses in a variety of pursuits. The enhancements to the region's digital infrastructure is intended to enhance inter-state communications and spur interest in emerging concepts such as the conversion to electronic health records.