Getting Started with Europeana Data

If you had access to the collected memories of centuries, what would you build? The Europeana digital museum and library is a great place to find inspiration for your own websites and applications. Here are a few links to get you up and running quickly.

Content Collections

The Europeana repository is built from the digitised collections of more than 2,300 different museums, archives, libraries and audiovisual collections around Europe. Because of this, there is huge variation in the 30 million digitised objects that are described using Europeana's data standards. Some digital objects are in the public domain and free to use, some others require attribution, or may even be under copyright and difficult to re-use directly, at least without talking to the providing institution. Some data partners describe their collections using links to high-resolution digital files, while others prefer to direct users to thumbnails or other kinds of landing pages on their own sites.

To help you get started with your applications, we've picked a few collections that are easy to re-use and have links to some high-quality digital files. While these are a good starting place, we encourage you to browse around the Europeana search portal to see what else strikes your fancy!

Tip: You might want to start with a search for digital objects with copyright statements supporting open re-use. Just expand the "Can I use it?" facet on the left of your search results, or add "&qf=REUSABILITY:open" to the end of your query.

Building on the Europeana Search API

To get your new website or application working with the Europeana repository directly, you'll probably want to start with the Europeana Search Application Programming Interface (API). Using the API, you can directly query the Europeana database and get back search results (in JSON or XML) which can be displayed in a web browser, mobile or other application.

Applications for Inspiration

People have been building some amazing things using the collections of Europeana, sometimes at hackathon events, sometimes for research or personal projects. Here are a few listings to some of these projects you might find something to build on, adapt or re-use. Or just be inspired to develop your own idea!

Whatever your starting point, we hope that you have a great time exploring the collections and tools of the Europeana ecosystem of data and projects. We collected this data for you to use – let us know what you'd like to build next!