Digital Libraries Initiative
Digital Agenda for Europe: Digital Libraries Initiative
Europe's cultural and scientific riches at a click of a mouse
In ancient times, the library of Alexandria was said to contain up to 70% of all human knowledge. The challenge for the digital age is to do even better than that – and make the result last longer.
The EU's digital libraries initiative sets out to make all Europe’s cultural resources and scientific records – books, journals, films, maps, photographs, music, etc. – accessible to all, and preserve them for future generations.
The initiative focuses on two areas:
- cultural heritage – creating electronic versions of the materials in Europe's libraries, archives and museums, making them available online, for work, study or leisure, and preserving them for future generations;
- scientific information – making research findings more widely available online and keeping them available over time.
A further key goal is to set up and develop Europeana – a single access point for consulting digital copies of the materials held by libraries, museums and archives. In "analogue times", if you wanted to research a subject – Rembrandt, for instance – you had to travel all over Europe to find material. But with the European digital library, you will be able to access all of it online – his works, books and documentary, films about him, drawings, photographs etc. – regardless of where the originals are held.
The digital libraries initiative is part of the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe.
Latest news and further information
- What's new?
- Next events
- What's new
- 28 October 2011 - The Commission has just 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 making it available through Europeana. It addresses the further development of Europeana and issues related to the organisation and funding of digitisation, the online accessibility of public domain and in-copyright material as well as digital preservation in the Member States. It also spells out a number of key principles to ensure public-private partnerships for digitisation are fair and transparent. Click here for the final Recommendation: CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV - See also the Commission staff working paper EN
- 27 October 2011 - Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation - Commission Staff Working Paper.
- September 2011 - Scientific information: The Commission published results of the online survey on scientific information in the digital age. An online consultation conducted between June and September 2011 generated large interest among stakeholders. It demonstrated that stakeholders would like to see EU action. They also should great support for action in the area of open access to scientific information, both regarding publications and data. Respondents also acknowledge that the issue of the preservation of scientific information has been insufficiently addressed. Read the full report
- 15 July 2011 - The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on access to, and preservation of, digital scientific information. Scientists, research funding organisations, universities, and other interested parties are invited to send their contributions on how to improve access to scientific information. The public consultation will contribute to the preparation of the Communication and Recommendation on access to and reservation of digital scientific information the European Commission intends to adopt in 2011. The consultation will run until 9 September 2011. Link to the online questionnaire. See the consultation information. See the press release.
- 24 May 2011 - The Commission adopts a proposal for a Directive on Orphan Works -The proposal, as part of the Commission's IPR Strategy, establishes common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called 'orphan works'. The Orphan Works issue was first put on the EU political agenda in the context of the Digital Libraries initiative. See the press release.
- 10 May 2011 - The report "The new Renaissance" of the "Comité des
Sages" on bringing Europe's cultural heritage online All language
- 3 May 2011 – Hearing on Scientific Information in Europe, Luxembourg 30.5.2011.
- 28 March 2011 - Overall report on Member States' progress in implementing the 2006 recommendation on digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation.
- Next events
- The Comité des Sages on bringing Europe's cultural heritage online will present its report on Monday 10 January 2011.
- (PDF file)