An online European History Experience: unlike any you know

Inventing Europe is an exhibition that incorporates content via the Europeana API. Below, guest blogger Suzanne Lommers tells us what it's all about. Before that, take a look at our new API video - launched last week at the Europeana Network AGM.

Europeana API from Europeana on Vimeo.

The first 'Hungarian' floppy disk drive…

'British' dye used in a 'Norwegian' wool factory…

A 'Dutch' polygon news reel about a pan-European train network…

Learn how, where, and why technologies were fundamental to shaping modern Europe in the exhibition Inventing Europe, now online at www.inventingeurope.eu.

A unique collaboration between historians and cultural heritage institutions across borders has created a new and innovative history of Europe. Inspired by the book series Making Europe: Technology and Transformations 1850-2000 that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013 and 2014, Inventing Europe opens up brand-new perspectives on the history, formation, and culture of Europe.

How was Europe explored, communicated, and experienced? And how have people everywhere used technologies up to the present day, to unify or fragment or otherwise give shape to Europe?

The collections of over ten cultural heritage institutions give a whole new reality to this history. What can a floppy disk drive, a film about the Trans Europe Express or dye tell about Europe? Visitors will discover that nothing is quite what it seems and that there is more to an object than might appear at first sight.

Inventing Europe is meant for everybody who has an interest in the history of Europe and in technology. Thus far, museum audiences, professionals, and cultural heritage institutions as well as university researchers and students with all sorts of backgrounds have explored the site.

Visitors can follow a number of object-based tours through Europe’s history. These tours are collected within different exhibitions that explore the broader themes of Daily Lives, Media & Communications, Knowledge Societies, Infrastructure, Globalisation and Governance. Europe’s history comes to life as users interact with the objects and stories that show the forces that shaped it.

These interactive and vivid experiences make Inventing Europe an excellent tool for new ways of engaging with rich primary materials. Therefore, the Inventing Europe team is developing a new educational programme. European universities in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal already use the website in their classroom teaching. The first results will be evaluated in February of 2013.

Inventing Europe is one of Europeana’s API projects. In addition to direct feeds from partner websites, the Europeana feed turns the rich narrative environment of Inventing Europe into a portal for further exploration of objects across Europe. Consequently, the visitors of Inventing Europe can explore hundreds of extra relevant objects and images.

Take a tour through Europe’s history at www.inventingeurope.eu or contact us.

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