The three initial sponsors — the Getty Art History Information Program, the Coalition for Networked Information, and the American Council of Learned Societies — are committed to continuing the National Initiative. Preparation of this report is the first key step in an agenda for action; subsequent key steps include the following:
- Articulating the public benefits of making the humanities and the arts full contributors to the NII in order to educate policymakers, decision-makers at standards-setting bodies and funding agencies, private-sector developers and potential users.
- Advocating the creation of a critical mass of cultural heritage information in digital form — the content of the arts and humanities on the information highways.
- Guiding the development of the required standards, tools and services necessary for humanities and arts access.
- Making sure that the humanities and the arts are represented in the policy discussions pertaining to the further evolution of the national and global information infrastructure by building coalitions with organizations in other fields or sectors and by identifying policy issues.
To pursue these, the National Initiative expects to open a Washington office to coordinate the involvement of humanities and arts organizations in discussions, policy-making and demonstration projects bearing on the development of the National Information Infrastructure.
Like the Internet, the humanities and the arts have as a primary purpose making connections: between events, concepts, disciplines, institutions, and individuals. As a conceptual network, the humanities and the arts encompass multiple styles and perspectives; they interconnect memory and innovation, imagination and interpretation, knowledge and inspiration. The nation can justifiably celebrate the enrichment that the humanities and arts bring to the quality of its individual and community lives, and work with equal enthusiasm to adopt the National Information Infrastructure as an extraordinary opportunity for the sharing, preservation, and enrichment of our cultural heritage.