Digital Libraries Initiative :: Europeana
Europeana – a single access point to Europe's cultural heritage
Europeana is the common access point to the collections of European libraries, archives and museums from all around Europe.
On 27 October 2011, the Commission adopted a
Recommendation on Digitisation and Digital Preservation. The Recommendation asks
the Member States to step up their efforts, pool their resources and involve
private actors in digitising cultural material and make it available through
Europeana. See the
Europeana, which started out with 2 million items when it was launched in 2008, currently holds more than 23 million objects, which are now accessible through a more intuitive and interactive interface. In order to provide a more balanced set of contributions from across Europe, the Recommendation sets targets per Member State for minimum content contribution by 2015.
A European digital library for all – researchers, professionals and the public
Europeana is a simple but powerful tool for finding resources from all over Europe. Books, journals, films, maps, photos, music etc. will be available for everyone to consult – and to use, copyright permitting. For example, the library is a rich source of materials for the creative and information industries in developing new products and services, for tourism and for teaching.
Adding material and improving search tools
Since the launch of the prototype, Europeana has developed into a fully operational service, and more content is continuously being added to the library. In 2012 over 23 million digital items are accessible.
New features – such as annotation tools for researchers – are being developed and added to Europeana in response to user demand. In due course, the intention is for users to contribute materials too (through an open-source approach, like Wikipedia ).
A decentralised library managed by experts
The European digital library does not bring together content into a single
database, rather, Europeana is a single access point, linking up databases all
over Europe. Users no longer need to search digital libraries individually to
find what they are looking for.
The single access point ("portal") is run by Europeana Foundation. Created on 8 November 2007, the Foundation is a collection of European cultural institutions – all committed to the project but retaining their independence, for example in hiring staff or seeking sponsorship.
Its founding members include European associations of libraries, archives, museums and audiovisual archives. The operational structure supporting Europeana is hosted by the Dutch National Library.
- ARROW, Accessible Registries of Rights Information and Orphan Works towards Europeana.
What does "EUROPEANA" mean?
EUROPEANA was chosen as a name of Graeco-Latin origin meaning "European collection", to refer to its rich cultural content and to the different types of media available (books, newspapers, photos, maps, films and sound). Major libraries and important collections about authors or places have often been given names with a similar latinate construction (e.g. Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Gallica, Belgica, Bodleiana, Luxemburgensia, Kantiana, Voltairiana).