The report reviews and assesses the overall progress achieved in the European Union in implementing Commission Recommendation of 27 October 2011 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation.

The Report on Digitisation, Online Accessibility and Digital Preservation of Cultural Material shows that there has been an increase of digitisation plans and overviews of digitised material, more cross-border collaboration and public-private partnerships as well as pooling of digitisation efforts through competence centres or specific aggregators.

Web visibility of cultural content has increased through reduction of watermarking or visual protection measures and wider use of open formats or social media. However, digitisation remains a challenge, with only a fraction of Europe's collections digitised so far (around 12% on average for libraries and less than 3% for films).

The report is based on a set of national reports submitted late 2013, early 2014 on the implementation of the Recommendation. All reports received (25 reports) are available online.

Good examples include:

  • the Polish National Audiovisual Institute operates a multimedia portal for sharing cultural resources and producing new content from them.
  • the Finnish National Gallery offers and app-developer support tool
  • in the Netherlands, free reuse of digital books in Koninklijke Bibliotheek's and University Library's database is permitted including for commercial purposes;
  • the Sound Collection partnership between the French BNF, Believe Digital and Memnon Archiving Services offers 200.000 records  in the Médiathèque Numérique;
  • innovative sharing and reuse models for digital heritage, such as the Monuments of Poland app;
  • Digisam coordinates the digitization of the many heritage institutions in Sweden.

The Commission will continue to monitor progress in this area through periodic reports such as the present one and by chairing the Member States' Expert Group. It will also monitor correct transposition of the Orphan Works Directive to bring online books, press articles, films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors or other rightholders are not known or cannot be located or contacted.

Read the press release of the European Commission on the report.