Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Launch of Europeana

Today the European Digital Library Foundation launched Europeana, the OA digital library of European literature, art, history, and culture.  From today's announcement:

...Internet users around the world can now access more than two million books, maps, recordings, photographs, archival documents, paintings and films from national libraries and cultural institutions of the EU's 27 Member States....[A]nyone interested in literature, art, science, politics, history, architecture, music or cinema will have free and fast access to Europe's greatest collections and masterpieces in a single virtual library through a web portal available in all EU languages. But this is just the beginning. In 2010, Europeana will give access to millions of items representing Europe's rich cultural diversity and will have interactive zones such as communities for special interests....

[S]aid Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media[:]  "I now call on Europe's cultural institutions, publishing houses and technology companies to fill Europeana with further content in digital form....My objective is that in 2010, Europeana will include at least 10 million objects." ...

Europeana makes it possible to search and browse the digitised collections of Europe's libraries, archives and museums all at once. This means users can explore themes without searching for and visiting multiple sites and resources.

Europeana was initiated by the Commission in 2005 and brought to fruition in close cooperation with national libraries and other cultural bodies of the Member States as well as with the strong support of the European Parliament. Europeana is run by the European Digital Library Foundation, which brings together Europe's major associations of libraries, archives, museums, audiovisual archives and cultural institutions. Europeana is hosted by the Dutch national library, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Over 1,000 cultural organisations from across Europe have provided material for Europeana. Europe's museums, including the Louvre in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, have supplied digitised paintings and objects from their collections. State archives have made important national documents available, and France's Institut National de l'Audiovisuel supplied 80,000 broadcasts recording the 20th century, right back to early footage shot on the battlefields of France in 1914. National libraries all over Europe have contributed printed and manuscript material, including digitised copies of the great books that brought new ideas into the world....

PS:  For background, see our past posts on Europeana.