20 July 2014 – Europeana published its strategic plan 2015-2020. One of the main goals for the upcoming years is to transform Europeana from portal to platform: Build a shared infrastructure, where people can reuse the material and interact with others. The priorities are to 1) improve metadata quality, 2) open up data, 3) create value for partners.
Europeana.eu, Europe’s digital library that gives access to collections from all domains of the cultural sector: libraries, archives, audiovisual collections (both television and film) and museums, is threatened with severe budget cuts. From 2015 onwards, Europeana’s funding is to come from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). In February 2013, a drastic budget cut for this scheme was proposed for broadband and digital services from 9 billion euros to just 1 billion (see: http://euobserver.com/news/118998). A loss of funding for Europeana will negatively affect its whole ecosystem, meaning the network of regional, national and pan-European aggregators like EFG – The European Film Gateway, which provide digitised cultural content to Europeana. The European Union currently supports this network of aggregators via project funding and without it, the European Film Gateway and its follow-up project EFG1914 would not exist. As member of the Europeana Foundation and initiator of The European Film Gateway and EFG1914, ACE fully supports the #AllezCulture Campaign to defend Europeana’s funding.
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Why Europeana matters
Europeana stands for the democratisation of access to culture, helping the communities and citizens of Europe to understand their past and to appreciate cross-cultural differences. It aligns cultural data from the participating institutions across Europe and promotes European culture throughout the world.
Today, Europeana offers standardized data of over 2,200 organisations, covering all European countries and 29 European languages. 27 million digitised objects including books, paintings, films and audio objects are accessible. The EFG and EUscreen function as important aggregators for the audiovisual content in Europeana. So far, users can view over 181,000 videos with many more to come over the next years.
On a political level, Europeana’s makes the voice of memory institutions heard. Thanks to Europeana’s advocacy work, current EU copyright legislation is put under pressure to become more flexible, e.g. to allow for an easier online publication of archival material. Without Europeana supported by the network of partners, the Orphan Works Directive would not have passed.
ACE encourages all film heritage institutions to express their support. Please visit Europeana’s #AllezCulture campaign website to see how you can help.
Download the fact sheet: Support for Europeana and its ecosystem in the Connecting Europe Facility
Download the AllezCulture leaflet: Europeana – The case for funding
Show your support and sign the online petition “Keep Europe’s culture open to everyone online“
Europeana has launched a new virtual exhibition “Leaving Europe: A new life in America” , jointly curated by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana. Over 30 million Europeans, from as far north as Scandinavia and as far south as Sicily, set sail to America in the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. The exhibition uses unique material from U.S. and European libraries, museums and archives to document people’s journeys across the European continent and their settlement in the United States. “Leaving Europe” is the starting point of a long-term relationship between the two digital libraries.
Read the official press release on Europeana Professional
View the exhibition (English version)
12 September 2012 – Today, the digital portal Europeana opens its dataset of more than 20 million cultural objects for free re-use. Anyone can use the data for any purpose – creative, educational, commercial – with no restrictions. This release, also including around 500’000 records from the European Film Gateway portal, is by far the largest one-time dedication of cultural data to the public domain using CC0. Applying the CC0 is a first step in bringing together data from Europe’s great libraries, museums, archives and film heritage institutions with data from other sectors such as tourism and broadcasting. The result could be a powerful knowledge generating engine for the 21st century.
15 May 2012 – On Wednesday, 9 May, a major event for the Ministers of Culture and leaders of Europe’s creative industries and memory organisations took place in Brussels. It was organised by Europeana and the European Commission together with the Danish Presidency. Aim of event was to raise awareness of Europeana among Europe’s citizens and to build support for the ” Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) infrastructure which will fund Europeana long- term as a core service. Very positive speeches by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, and by the Danish Culture Minister on behalf of the EU Council Presidency, were followed by statements in support of Europeana by Ministers from a dozen countries. All ministers of culture were invited to choose a favourite item in the Europeana portal and present their committment to Europeana. The list of choices and the press release are here: http://pro.europeana.eu/web/guest/9mayministerstreasures The event started with a seminar called “Culture for Innovation-Recommendations for Change” looking at different aspects on open data. The recommendations made by advocates of digital innovation are the following ones:
- To invest in digitization & preservation (only 15% of our cultural heritage is digitised so far)
- To make copyright work in the digital age
- To explore the new business models based on opening up content
- To exploit the power of open – data, licences, standards
It was also the opportunity for Neelie Kroes to launch the Hack4Europe 2012, a competition between developers, designers and programmers of five different country to develop their ideas for the creative re-use of Europeana data and to build applications showcasing the social and business value of open cultural data. Around 350 people attended and had the chance to see a short demo of the eCloud, the big screen 3D interactive display of all the material collected as part of the various 1914-1918 initiatives. Some of the most remarkable stories are also featured in the new Europeana 1914-1918 exhibition.
13 October 2011 – Yesterday, Europeana, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive, launched a redesign with new functionalities. The new interface has more visual appeal and has been adapted for iPads and Android touchscreens, bringing all the benefits of touch to Europe’s online treasury. Europeana’s makeover has been shaped by users, who have helped to create the services they wanted around their cultural heritage. One request was made above all: the right to download for free and re-use the cultural highlights they find on the site. For the first time, Europeana makes it possible to narrow searches ‘by copyright’ so that public domain – out of copyright – content can be precisely targeted. Read the full press release here.
27 May 2011 – On 24 May 2011, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works with a view to establishing common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called orphan works. Orphan works are works like books, published articles and films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors are not known or cannot be located or contacted to obtain copyright permissions.
According to a study ACE carried out among its member archives in 2009, about 21% of the films held in Europe’s film archives and cinematheques are estimated to be orphan works. But with no common rules available to make the digitisation and online display of orphan works legally possible, they are doomed to remain untouched and therefore inaccessible. In order to proceed with large-scale digitisation projects such as the Europeana portal, common guidelines on how to deal with such works are necessary.
The Proposal forsees a new EU law providing lawful, cross-border online access to orphan works. Libraries, museums and archives in the EU country where a work was first published would be required to conduct a thorough search to find the copyright holder before creating a digital version. If the rightholder cannot be identified or located, the work would be identified as an “orphan” and that status would apply throughout the EU so that the work could be made available online without prior authorisation until the owner is identified and found.
Further information on the Proposal for a Directive on orphan works as well as other language versions of the related documents are available here.
13 May 2011 – On 30 and 31 May, EFG – The European Film Gateway will hold the open conference “Taking Care Of Orphan Works – Rights Clearance in European Film Archives”. Representatives from film archives, Europeana and rights holder organisations will meet at EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam, to talk about rights clearing and the unsolved question of how to deal with orphan works in Europe’s film archives.
The keynote speech will be given by Elisabeth Niggemann, Member of the Comité des Sages on Digitisation and Director General of the German National Library.
The conference is jointly organised by EFG partners EYE Film Institute Netherlands, leader of the EFG Work Package “IPR Management and Administration” and ACE, initiator of EFG and one of the leading protagonists in the orphan works debate.
Attendance to the conference is free of charge, however, the amount of seats is limited.
For further information and to register, please visit www.efgproject.eu.
24 March 2011 – Today Europeana launched a new project entitled “Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten” (“The First World War in everyday documents”) with a call to the public in Germany to participate in building a digital European archive by contributing private memorabilia from the First World War.
The project is looking for photographs, letters, diaries, short films, audio recordings and the stories connected to those objects. People interested in contributing World War 1 memorabilia can bring them to one of the four roadshows that will take place in Frankfurt am Main (31 March), Berlin (2 April), Munich (6 April) and Stuttgart (12 April). There, the objects will be digitised professionally and added to the online archive, along with corresponding descriptions. Independently of the roadshows, everyone can contribute their digitised images and information via www.europeana1914-1918.eu.
Until 2014, the year of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1, Europeana will collect memorabilia in digital form from many of the countries involved in the War. The project, which a partnership between Europeana, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and Oxford University, aims to save people’s family memories of this tragedy that convulsed Europe and make them accessible to the world.