Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 15, 2008

Demo launch of European digital library

Europeana, a demo of the European digital library, opened to the public on February 11, 2008. From the announcement:

...The website, branded Europeana, will break new ground by bringing together millions of digitised resources from Europe's archives, museums, libraries and audio visual collections through a single portal. ...

The European Commission, a strong advocate of a European digital library, expressed its support for Europeana. Horst Forster, Director of Digital Content and Cognitive Systems in the Information Society Directorate, attended the conference, and commented, "Europeana is ambitious in its scale and scope. It's making the connections between the whole network of cultural heritage digitisation programmes in Europe, and promises to be a very powerful service. It will enable citizens to explore how ideas were transmitted between countries, how political or social trends developed, how artistic movements influenced the whole continent." ...

The European digital library project began to develop the Europeana web portal in autumn 2007 with funding from the European Commission. This is the first public showing of the look and feel of the site and its potential functions and content.

Users' responses to the demonstration site are being surveyed online and in focus groups around Europe. Thorough testing will continue throughout the building of Europeana. This is being done to ensure that when the prototype is launched in November 2008, it will give users all the functionality that they expect.

November's prototype will give direct access to at least 2 million digitised objects, including books, photos, maps, sounds, films and archival records from Europe's libraries, archives, museums and audio-visual collections.

The Europeana project is directed by the European Digital Library Foundation ...