Thank you for all the input about Europeana's future direction and priorities that you have given in meetings, discussions and workshops over the past few months. Your ideas and concerns have all helped to shape the direction of discussions for the Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and for the first draft of Europeana’s Business Plan for 2014.
We would now like to ask you to review the Business Plan for 2014, as presented in the slideshow below, and to give us your feedback. Next year is an important one, it's a year of transition as we move from our existing strategic plan to a new one. Is there anything major missing? Do you agree with the direction we're taking, moving from a portal to a platform, and from a focus on aggregation to distribution? Do you agree with our 12 objectives for 2014? Do our Key Performance Indicators make sense to you?
Whatever your thoughts, positive or negative, please let us know by 17 December. Either leave a comment on this blog or email Jill Cousins (Europeana Executive Director) or Harry Verwayen (Europeana Business Development Director).
View the slideshow below, or download the pdf.
Blog by Joris Pekel, Europeana Community Coordinator.
The third strategy workshop for the Europeana Network took place on 21 November. After workshops on Distribution and Aggregation, it was ‘Facilitation’ that was on the agenda this time. What do we mean by 'Facilitation'? Well, it's everything between aggregation - the process of bringing material in - and distribution - the various ways of getting it out. This is quite broad so we started off by defining what the Facilitation team of Europeana does by looking at its successes and weaknesses.
Discussions at one of the strategy workshops. Europeana, CC BY-SA
The major success that attendees mentioned was last year's switch of all Europeana's metadata to the CC0 Public Domain Dedication Waiver last year. This was a big step for open cultural data in Europe and managed to set a standard for many institutions and other large initiatives like the Digital Public Library of America. This work has been essential in pushing the cultural heritage sector forward to where it is now.
Discussing this move, it was clear that the shift has been of high importance, but has also taken an incredible amount of work to convince institutions that this was the right decision, and some institutions have become less willing to provide high quality data. There was also the question of sustainability and scalability. How can the best practices that Europeana sets be picked up by others and replicated?
The second half of the workshop tried to answer the question, 'What should Europeana focus on in the next few years?' The participants agreed that Europeana should increase its policy work on a European level to push for copyright reform. This is still the main issue that concerns Europeana partners when deciding whether and how to make their data available online. The European copyright landscape is completely scattered and it is almost impossible to give 100% clarity on copyright-related issues. Other goals mentioned were: to make sure that material in the public domain remains in the public domain after it is digitised; and changing the mentality of institutions towards open access to their collections.
Knowledge sharing was also mentioned a lot during the day. Europeana is a pioneer and setting many good examples. However, these are not always shared in the best possible way with the Network. In almost all institutions, the same major issues occur when it comes to making their collections available. By sharing examples and solutions better, we can work more closely together and make sure the wheel is not reinvented over and over again. For this reason, we should look at sharing not only information generated by Europeana, but also at becoming a hub for other institutions to share their information, solutions and opinions for others to build on.
The Facilitation workshop was the third workshop in a series of four. Although some clear directions for Europeana were drawn, no conclusions have yet been taken. We will look at the results of all our consultations and then define our goals for 2020 and our routes to achieving them. Stay tuned!
By Vicky Garnett, Trinity College Dublin
We’ve all been there - sitting in a meeting staring at a 20-slide-long PowerPoint presentation, trying so hard to concentrate but quietly counting down the minutes until the coffee break.
Well, during the development of the first Europeana Cloud Expert Forum, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) devised a weapon against the Coffee-Break Countdown Syndrome: the Europeana Treasure Hunt!
Recognising that our participants probably wouldn’t have had time to take a good look at Europeana (or might not even have heard of it), we came up with a quick, simple, and hopefully entertaining way to allow everyone to get to know Europeana and some of its features.
The aim of the first Europeana Cloud Expert Forum was to evaluate Europeana in its current form, and to imagine case studies of what Europeana could be following the completion of the project. But it seemed unreasonable to ask people to discuss this without first giving them the opportunity to see Europeana.
Designing the Treasure Trail
Dublin Expert Forum, photo by Vicky Garnett
During the Expert Forum time was at a premium. The game took no more than 30 minutes including playing and feedback time. In order to see current features, all teams started by creating a My Europeana profile.
The game contained questions on using multiple search terms for the same event, such as the First World War. We found that different terms brought up different results - something for us to discuss later on in the day.
We knew that the disparity in metadata fields was an issue, so the second question offered players one point for every item they found in Europeana with 11 or more completed metadata fields.
Finally, working on the same principle as Googlewhacks, teams were asked to use the search function to try to find the most specific items they could, with the highest scores going to search terms of 2-5 words that could produce just one item. A search term that provided only one result was therefore deemed a Europeanawhack!
The game received much positive feedback from the participants.
Europeana Treasure Hunt 2.0
Amsterdam Expert Forum, photo by Agiati Benardou
Following the success of the game in Dublin - it was called for again in the second Expert Forum in Gothenberg (UGOT) in October 2013. This meeting had a slightly different remit to the first - identifying the content and tools that could be used in Europeana. So UGOT took the basic principles of the game and modified the questions so it focused on content types.
This version was also used in the Expert Forum in Amsterdam, again providing the same space for discussion among the players.
Europeana Treasure Hunt 3.0?
So where do we go from here? The game was designed as an ice-breaker but it has proven to be a useful tool for researchers unfamiliar with Europeana. Perhaps this could become a permanent feature of Europeana as a means to introduce new users to the portal?
Download the Europeana Treasure Hunt rules.
We'd love to hear your feedback - please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Today we're launching Europeana Dreams to help us envision our shared future - and we'd love you to join in.
No-one can visit all the museums, libraries and archives across Europe in person. But we all can online. How we do that is up to you. In the future, how do you imagine you will help others explore, discover, learn about, work with and play with Europe’s heritage online?
We need your dreams to help us decide how to work over the next few years and to show policy-makers that Europe cares about its heritage and about how we can all explore and work with it in the future.
Visit our Europeana Dreams website and share your vision of the future
Here's just a snapshot of the dreams for the year 2020 that we've collected already:
From Jon Voss of Historypin: 'From their classrooms, children will visit art in the greatest museums of Europe, hear music from the greatest venues, see streets as they are now and as they were hundreds and hundreds of years ago.'
From Lizzy Jongma of the Rijksmuseum: 'Art is beautiful, art is pleasure, art is inspiration for new art, art is understandable. Art is available, everywhere.. for everyone. And I hope that by then we can touch, smell, zoom in and out, turn, alter and add art: digitally.'
Whatever your dream, go to dreams.europeana.eu, share it with us and together we can make it happen. We’ve already captured six big dreamers on video. Watch their films, share them and then share your own dream too. How? Just tweet your dream with the #AllezCulture hashtag, share it on the Europeana Allez Culture Facebook page or submit it using our Dreams form!