Best practices

Walk a mile in their shoes. How likely are other people to re-use your data in their own cultural projects if you have little or no understanding of their needs? Find out which approaches and formats have proven most useful to Europeana and its partner organisations in encouraging the distribution and re-use of cultural data.

Open your collections up

Around half of Europeana’s digital records are now available in open licensing formats, primed for creative re-use. And that’s only the start. Opening up cultural collections has already released powerful benefits for Europeana and its partners. By following suit, your organisation can:

  • extend the reach of your collections dramatically, way beyond your own website
  • build engagement with online audiences
  • unlock the business value of your collections - with increased online sales, access to funding and sponsorship opportunities, etc.

Find out more in the Rijksmuseum case study.

Enrich your metadata

Open Access is the gateway to re-use, but high-quality data is the key.

We see how true this is every day.

Europeana portal users click through to more materials and spend longer periods of time on records with high-quality images and more interesting and detailed descriptions. At our app competitions, developers and designers make every effort to find high-resolution images and the best possible metadata for their creative projects. Europeana’s major content distribution partners - demand precise geo-coordinates and engaging item narratives to support the themes of their apps.

Yes, that’s right. The better your metadata, the more people will make use of it - in ways you might never have thought of yourself.

Enriching metadata is a time-consuming process, of course. That’s why we’re exploring various options (including crowdsourcing) to make it as easy as possible for you to promote the re-use of your collections.

How about organising an app competition?

In recent years, Europeana has organised a number of hackathons across Europe – some independently, others as partner projects. Hackathons tend to be two-day events, bringing together developers to experiment with data and technology and come up with prototypes for new products and services. We also run online app competitions, which give developers more (offline) time – usually three months – to draft, test and submit their creative project.

Over the past two years, we’ve introduced a business element to the app contest format, helping developers to take their prototypes to market. This takes the form of either a ‘business lounge’ or a business incubation package as a prize. The business lounge is an idea brought in by our partner project, Apps4Europe; it connects developers with investors, accelerators and incubators. It gives them access to expertise and possibly funding that will turn their ideas into new business ventures.

If you’re interested in organising an app competition with a business lounge, Europeana will provide:

  • consultancy to help you plan and organise the event – including guidelines, templates and, when possible, on-site attendance
  • access to technical tools, documentation and online support (Europeana Labs)
  • promotion before and after the event via Europeana PR channels