Digitising Europe's cultural heritage, making it accessible online and preserving it for future generations is one of the challenges of the Digital Single Market. The objective is thus to make the collections held by Europe's libraries, museums, galleries and archives and audiovisual archives available online – vast numbers of books, paintings, museum objects, archival records, periodicals and millions of hours of film and video covering the whole of Europe's rich diverse history and culture.
As single access point to Europe's digital culture, Europeana provides access to culture for all, including for education, work and leisure, and serves as a hub for the creative industries and innovative re-use of cultural material. With the help of ICT, Europeana thus turns Europe's cultural heritage into a lasting asset for citizens and the economy.
The European Commission
- Fuels the policy debate and brings stakeholders together to improve the framework conditions for digitisation and digital preservation through the Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation of 27 October 2011
- Monitors progress towards the implementation of the Commission's Recommendation and facilitates the exchange of information and good practices of MS policies and strategies through the Member States' Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital Preservation (MSEG)
- Works together with cultural institutions to create Europeana.
- Co-funds research and innovation actions that provide European added value and scope: through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research an Development (FP7) and the CIP - ICT - PSP Programme. The proposed novel funding instruments for the period 2014-2020 are Horizon2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The EU's Member States
Provide most of the funding for digitisation as part of their policies for culture and for the information society. They contribute to the policy debate and implement decisions taken jointly at European level.
- Partake in the policy debate and implement decisions taken jointly at European level through the Member States' Expert Group
- Contribute to the development of Europeana by means of national aggregators (e.g. cultura italia, Culture Grid, Culture.fr, Hispana)
- Collect, catalogue, preserve and restore Europe's film heritage so that it can be passed on to future generations. Unpon the Recommendation on Film Heritage, every two years, they need to inform the Commission of what they have done.
- Drive the creation of Europeana and provide digitised content.
[Photo courtesy: The CHESS project at the Acropolis Museum]