Social sciences and humanities, and cultural heritage have been investigated at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) since the agency’s reform in March 4, 1963. From that date on, CNR has made it possible for the Italian SSH and CH communities to undergo a rapid and far-reaching development, which has brought about vital technological innovations - such as the setting up of Italy’s first digital library in 1964 - as well as substantial services to the country - one thinks of the industrial applications provoked by the rapid improvement of cultural heritage restoration techniques in the aftermath of the Florence flood of November 4, 1966. Today SSH and CH researchers are part of the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Cultural Heritage (DSU-CNR). At the center of DSU-CNR investigations are all social objects, be they material or immaterial (artifacts, books, social findings), but always set by a person, which now makes a repositioning of technological development increasingly urgent. Persons are not out there only to make sure machines work, they are expected to ask the questions that human beings find it necessary to pose while proceeding along the via humanitatis. Culture is about people that take part in the project of constructing Europe as a society that ought to be less unequal, less unjust, less segregating, and less passive with regard to differing starting environments. CNR researchers work in synergy and express the potentials of diverse sectors. They have integrated findings and methods of history, philology, linguistics, archaeology, physics, chemistry, and ICT. Among the new cross-disciplinary fields that have emerged are: heritage science, the ageing society and migration studies. The result is a multidisciplinary context, which is dynamic and productive, and in which natural sciences dialogue with humanities for the sake of cultural heritage cognition, conservation and valorization.
free text keywords: History of applications and research projects, Cultural Resource Management