The 850,000 items that HOPE has contributed to Europeana cover themes such as the emancipation movement, environmentalism and equal rights for immigrants. The collections feature a broad range of items such as posters, periodicals and films.
HOPE was a Best Practice Network comprised of social history institutions across Europe, including archives, libraries and museums. It improved access to the vast amount of highly significant but scattered digital collections on 19th- and 20th-century European social history.
Promoting the adoption of standards and best practices for digital libraries amongst its partners was key to achieving HOPE's goals. HOPE also ensured that the metadata and the content became available through Europeana and the Labour History Portal.
HOPE implemented a full-scale discovery-to-delivery (d2d) model that allowed people to find and access resources from a variety of sources, including organisational websites, search engines, social media and other special-interest sites.
Finally, HOPE sought to achieve economies of scale both in terms of technical infrastructure and technical expertise by implementing a shared and sustainable demand-supply chain between Europeana and the envisaged digital social history resource. This large-scale implementation was built on a web services infrastructure, as introduced above, and used existing, open-source technologies, software and services.
In this way, HOPE aligns with Objective 2.2 of the European Digital Library ICT-PSP programme – to increase the amount of quality content available through Europeana.
Activities and Outcomes
The HOPE approach combined consensus-building and awareness-raising activities with the implementation of an infrastructure for metadata dissemination and digital content delivery functions. The outcomes include:
- A social history metadata aggregator that collects the available data (metadata and preview/thumbnails and direct link to digital objects) and ensures interoperability with Europeana. The aggregator services are based on the existing DRIVER technologies developed by CNR-ISTI. The aggregator supplies the data to Europeana by use of the Europeana metadata ingestion tools.
- A social history content repository for Best Practice Network partners who are not able to create and maintain a sustainable digital collection management facility for themselves, due to lack of expertise and technical resources. The shared repository provides basic storage, management and access services and ensures the transparent and straightforward location and delivery of digital content.
- An upgraded version of the existing Labour History Portal
- Improved quality of the content, the metadata and the service delivery through sharing best practices in digitisation, metadata harmonisation, digital curation, web service delivery logistics and re-use of content.
- Engagement of the community of social history institutions through awareness-raising, support and access to facilities offered by the Best Practice Network, and by taking new content providers on board as the project proceeds.
By aggregating digital content from unique and authoritative collections in its domain, HOPE brought together a significant pillar of European history to the Europeana audience, thereby enhancing the quality of the historical experience and stimulating discovery in primary source materials never before disclosed to users on such a large scale.