The #AllezLiterature campaign kicks off with a Love Transcribathon

Highlighting the unique nature of Europeana content, its richness, variety and availability for reuse is at the heart of our mission. To support this, our Europe-wide thematic campaigns work with cultural institutions to reach out to wide audiences, foster engagement with users and stakeholders, and connect people to their cultural heritage. With the end of the art-based Europeana 280 campaign, we are opening a new chapter of that collaboration today with the launch of #AllezLiterature. Organised around three main phases, this new thematic campaign will focus on libraries and archives and run on social media in the first half of 2017. And while it continues to explore our shared human experience through culture it focuses on a new medium: words, in all their forms and languages.

Demonstrating the value of text

In today’s visual world, it is easy to forget the importance and the power of words. Through #AllezLiterature Europeana wants to shine a light on the value of the written word in our shared cultural heritage, as enriched by text, literature and poetry as it is by paintings, drawings or sculptures. Texts such as The Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor by Polish poet Bolesław Leśmian; the manuscript of Narcissus by famous medieval woman author Christine de Pizan; or a poem by Wordsworth written as a protest to the Prime Minister against a railway extension in the Lake District are just tiny glimpses of some of the treasures to be found in Europe’s libraries and archives and shared through Europeana - reflecting society through texts both epic and personal.

The Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor | Bolesław Leśmian, The National Library Of Poland, public domain

Building on user-generated content

And what better way to celebrate the ability of text to emphasise our shared experience on Valentine’s Day than with genuine love stories from the past? To launch #AllezLiterature, Europeana is inviting users to create digital records of handwritten letters from The First World War by taking part in the Love Transcribathon. This special edition of the crowdsourcing challenge Transcribe Europeana 1914-1918 features a selection of intimate testimonies through more than 40 letters, postcards, diaries, and other personal documents in several languages. From 14 February onwards, users are invited to discover the stories and help enrich these resources by submitting their own transcriptions, and also to document their participation on social media using the hashtag #WW1LoveLetters.

Love Letters From The Front | Louise Jayne / Auguste Longinotti, CC-BY-SA

Fostering institutional engagement

While this first phase of #AllezLiterature focuses on user-generated content, phases two and three will build on the success of working with institutions on the #Europeana280 campaign and reach out to libraries and archives. Together we want to celebrate Europe’s Poetry and textual treasures, starting respectively on World Poetry Day (21 March 2017) and World Book Day (23 April 2017). To do so, we will invite libraries and archives to support #AllezLiterature on social media by initiating conversations and activities that engage with users to highlight their text-based content. This social network activity will run throughout each phase of the campaign until June 2017. We will be working with libraries and archives over the coming weeks and will highlight that collaboration and share the successes of #AllezLiterature with you here on Pro. We hope you will follow and support the campaign through your own networks on social media.

AllezLiterature!