The Europeana Foundation is the governing body of the Europeana service. It is set up for the purpose of fostering collaboration between museums, archives, libraries and audiovisual collections in Europe. We asked Pavel Kats, Development Manager at Europeana, a couple of questions. Continue reading to find out how tango and Europeana Creative are related.
What is the role of the Europeana Foundation and what is its role in the Europeana Creative project?
There are many ways to describe Europeana and a currently popular coinage in our office is that of a “catalyst of change” in the cultural heritage sector. We like to think of ourselves as a place where novel digital technologies are put to the service of the cultural heritage sector; where European cultural riches are published and accessed in contemporary ways – where the digital future meets the cultural past.
One of the sections of the Europeana homepage.
Our role in the Europeana Creative project is to leverage our aggregation network and technical platform to explore new ways of disseminating and re-using cultural heritage content. With the help of our partners who have expertise in web design, software development, semantic technologies, outreach into creative communities, licencing policies and related areas, we will explore these new ways. It will complement our platform, built over the recent years, with products, technologies, legal frameworks and business models to become relevant in the new content economy of the 21st century.
How does your work in Europeana Creative fit in with the overall strategy of the Europeana Foundation?
Europeana’s overall strategy is very much about what we do with the content after we aggregate it. In this sense, the Europeana Creative project is the first real opportunity to explore how we can really engage European citizens in seeing, watching, hearing and reading it. We believe creative industries to have the multiplier potential for us – if we succeed in serving them right, we can reach many more eyes and hearts than by addressing end users directly. Therefore, the project is perfectly in line with our strategy.
Card-sorting session with the Europeana team and other Europeana Creative partners (CC BY-SA Europeana Creative).
Additionally, we believe that the connection with creative industries should be a two-way street. People working in these industries – designers, programmers, artists – can help us in many ways. Our goal in the project is to go the extra mile to understand what Europeana can give them, but also to allow them to take it themselves, because at the end of the day, European cultural heritage belongs to the citizens. By opening up data of the memory institutions, advocating for clear licencing, and developing an open source aggregation and dissemination platform, we are offering a complete toolset for the re-use of cultural content. Encouraging professionals to apply and improve this toolset is a goal of the project and of Europeana in general. Establishing and improving our dialogue with the creative communities is also a major part of Europeana’s overall strategy.
Europeana Labs, when will they be live and what services will they offer?
Europeana Labs is our first concrete offering to professionals in creative industries – in essence, the toolset mentioned above. It is an online one-stop destination that features our content and technical means to access it in a very clear way. We assume no previous knowledge of complex data models, technologies or IP rights intricacies – just come as you are and grab content that you like that is allowed for re-use. And apply the Europeana API to integrate it into your work. Therefore, the Europeana API and everything around it – clear documentation, use cases, tips and tricks – is a major ingredient of Europeana Labs. At a later stage, we will explore how we can add physical aspects of supporting and incubating ideas. But now our priority is to release the first public beta version of the website that will go live in March.
Wireframes for the internal alpha version of the Europeana Labs platform, currently under development by Europeana (CC BY-SA Europeana Creative).
Have you encountered challenges in the project so far and are there any other challenges you anticipate?
Well, we are just through a third of the project, so it is better to speak of future challenges. There are a lot of them, as we are entering a new terrain unknown to us, where standards are already set very high. High quality media content is abundant today and the API economy is thriving – this leads to high expectations from anything new on the API market. To succeed, we should work with partners on both sides (i.e., memory institutions and creative and commercial partners) and do a lot of advocacy work. On the one hand, we need to convince memory institutions that it is worth opening up quality content to increase the public’s engagement. On the other hand, we must show creative industries and commercial partners the potential of working with the cultural heritage sector. It takes two to tango and our main challenge in Europeana Creative is arranging this tango party, while making sure that we ourselves – as a DJ if you wish – facilitate this encounter at the highest standard.
Europeana Cloud will establish a cloud-based system for Europeana, its aggregators and content providers.
Through this new system, the project aims to provide new content, new metadata to the Cloud, a new linked storage system, new tools and services for researchers and a new platform – Europeana Research.
A key point in the development for Europeana Research is formulating a content strategy. To achieve this, we need the help of all data providers to both Europeana and The European Library to complete a survey.
You know your dataset contents and subject strengths better than we as project partners could and we would like to have the best possible information on your datasets.
Information about the content of your datasets will help us to improve knowledge and awareness of the digital objects housed in Europeana. This in turn will help us to further the development of Europeana Research by charting and enhance our offering to the research community.
The results of the survey will directly influence how we further tailor our services for researchers by adding specialised tools, relevant content and enriched metadata. This is due to happen in the second half of the Europeana Cloud project.
All contributors to Europeana have received an invitation to fill in the survey, either directly or through their aggregators. We kindly ask you to fill in the survey by the end of March.
The survey is available via this link. You will need your dataset number to complete it (included with your original invitation).
For any questions about the survey, please contact Ingeborg Versprille.
By the EAGLE Project
EAGLE (Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy) 2014 International Conference on Information Technologies for Epigraphy and Digital Cultural Heritage in the Ancient World is the second in a series of international events planned by EAGLE. The conference will be held 29 September - 1 October, 2014, in Paris.
The event will consist of a number of lectures, panels and selected papers organised into several sessions. It is expected that the conference proceedings will be published with a major European scientific editor.
The conference will also provide space for demonstrations and product display. Keynote lectures will be delivered by Susan Hazan (The Israel Museum), Tom Elliott (New York University) and Thomas Jaeger (European Commission).
Submission of Panel proposals: 31 March 2014
Submission of Papers (full, short): 30 April 2014
Submission of Posters, projects, demos: 30 April 2014
Response to the Authors: 7 June 2014
Camera-ready versions: 30 June 2014
The event will be held in English.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAGLE - Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy, will be a new online archive for epigraphy (the study of inscriptions or epigraphs) in Europe, co-funded through the ICT - Policy Support Programme of the European Commission. The EAGLE Best Practice Network is part of Europeana.