Here you can find answers to common questions about Europeana. If your question is not answered here, please also see the Providers' FAQ, Support for Open Data FAQs or contact us.

See the Europeana Glossary for definitions of common terms.

About Europeana

What is Europeana?

Europeana represents both Europe's cultural and scientific history, collected and curated for all to enjoy, and the achievements that are possible when organisations across an entire continent choose to work together with a common goal.

  • For users:
    Europeana is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. It is an authoritative source of information coming from European cultural and scientific institutions.
  • For heritage institutions:
    Europeana is an opportunity to reach out to more users, increase their web traffic, enhance their users' experience and build new partnerships. By integrating the Europeana API, organisations can give users access to an unparalleled source of rich content.
  • For professionals in the heritage sector:
    Europeana is a platform for knowledge exchange between librarians, curators, archivists and the creative industries.
  • For policy-makers and funders:
    Europeana is a prestigious initiative endorsed by the European Commission, and is a means to stimulate the creative economy and promote cultural tourism.

How does Europeana relate to The European Library?

The European Library is the library aggregator for Europeana, and part of the Europeana family of services. Designed to meet the needs of the research community, The European Library opens up exciting new opportunities for researchers worldwide: it offers highly convenient access to the collections of national and research libraries in 46 countries. Researchers can cross-search over 200 million records, including over 24 million pages of full-text content and 10 million digital objects.

What is the organisational structure of Europeana?

The Europeana Foundation is the governing body of the Europeana service. A legal entity under Dutch law, Stichting Europeana comprises the heads of international associations responsible for cultural heritage. The Foundation comprises an Executive Committee, a Board of Participants, and the Europeana Network.

Providing data

Why provide data?

There are many reasons why providing data to Europeana is beneficial for your institution. Here are just some of them:

  • Europeana enriches your users' experience – users can find not only your collections but also related information held in other countries, or in other formats, so your data gains from association with linked material.
  • Users today expect data to be integrated – to be able to see videos, look at images, read texts and listen to sounds in the same space.
  • Europeana will expose your metadata to search engines, making deep web content accessible.
  • Europeana drives traffic to your site by linking users back to your website.
  • Europeana provides a set of APIs through which the content of Europeana may be re-used or returned in its enriched form by Europeana partners.
  • Knowledge transfer is a key reason for being part of the Europeana Network. Europeana gives you an opportunity to keep up-to-date with leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of metadata standards, multilinguality, semantic web, usability, geolocation and others.

How to provide data?

Please consult our Provide Data page and follow the procedure specified there.


What is the Europeana Data Exchange Agreement?

The Europeana Data Exchange Agreementis an agreement between a content provider and Europeana that governs the use and re-use of the provided metadata.

How does my institution benefit from the Data Exchange Agreement?

The tangible benefits of the Data Exchange Agreement for heritage organisations include:

  • increased traffic to your site
  • wider use of the Europeana APIs
  • income-generating opportunities, e.g. for image licensing
  • enriched data for your own use
  • increased usability and knowledge generation through Linked Open Data applications
  • development of innovative services and new revenue streams.

How is attribution handled in the context of the Data Exchange Agreement?

CC0 does not require end-users to give attribution when using the data, but when publishing data, Europeana will always give attribution to the data providers and aggregators that have contributed the data to Europeana. Europeana will also link to a set of Europeana Usage Guidelines for Metadata that request users of the data to leave attribution information intact whenever possible. Through these guidelines, Europeana intends to establish good practice for users of cultural heritage metadata that deal with attribution and other issues, such as privacy.

Does Europeana plan to use data from its data providers for commercial purposes?

No, Europeana does not plan to use the data from its data providers for commercial purposes. This includes selling the metadata (or parts thereof) to third parties or selling advertisements related to metadata or search results on Europeana.

At the same time, Europeana intends to make use of the aggregated data in the context of collaboration with commercial partners. At the moment there are no concrete plans. Prior to entering into any concrete partnerships, Europeana will consult with the members of the Europeana Network.

Do I lose control over the data if my metadata becomes available under the new Data Exchange Agreement/CC0?

Whenever you publish something on the Internet, you lose a certain amount of control over what you have published. Licensing conditions, such as the conditions established by the current Europeana Terms of Use, establish some amount of control. This control can only be maintained through enforcement.

Under the terms of the Data Exchange Agreement there are no restrictions on how the metadata provided to Europeana can be used. Europeana provides a set of Europeana Usage Guidelines for Metadata that outline best practices for third parties using the metadata.

You can exercise some amount of control over your metadata by carefully selecting what data you make available, via which channels, and by ensuring that your metadata is up-to-date and easy to find. Europeana will assist you with this by removing or updating outdated data upon your request.

Can I continue generating income with my metadata if it becomes available under the new Data Exchange Agreement/CC0?

It is important to realise that making available your metadata via Europeana for free and without restrictions on re-use does not mean that you cannot provide your metadata to others under different conditions. This includes the ability to sell your metadata or products and services based on your metadata. For example, it is possible that you provide a limited set of metadata to Europeana while offering a more extensive set to another entity for sale. In this scenario, Europeana can be an important driver of traffic to your commercial offering. Under the terms of the Data Exchange Agreement you can even enrich your metadata with metadata obtained from Europeana, and sell the enriched datasets.

I am an EU-funded project and I deliver data to Europeana. Do I need to sign the Data Exchange Agreement?

Yes, all partners that deliver data to Europeana will need to sign the Data Exchange Agreement whether the project is ongoing or is finishing. The Data Exchange Agreement needs to be signed by a legal entity. There are three scenarios envisaged regarding the projects that deliver data to Europeana:

  1. The project consortium, acting as an Aggregator, forms a legal entity that is also responsible for signing the Data Exchange Agreement with Europeana. CENL, for example, could be responsible for signing the Data Exchange Agreement with Europeana on behalf of Europeana Libraries. The European Film Gateway is also setting up a legal entity to look after the sustainability of the project results. This legal entity would sign the Data Exchange Agreement with Europeana with the explicit consent of the project partners.
  2. One of the project partners assumes the role of an aggregator and signs the Data Exchange Agreement with Europeana on behalf of the other providers, with their consent. As may be the case, the coordinator of a project or another partner with a legal status takes on the role of the aggregator with the consent of the consortium. Europeana would then sign the Data Exchange Agreement with this aggregator.
  3. Europeana signs the Data Exchange Agreement with the individual project providers. If scenarios a. or b. above are not possible, Europeana will sign agreements with the individual project partners that deliver data to Europeana. Although all running EU-funded projects have a contractual commitment with the Commission to deliver their data to Europeana, there may not be a uniform consent to the Data Exchange Agreement by the consortium. In this case we will sign the Data Exchange Agreement with the individual willing partners whose data will also be made available via Europeana.eu.

What happens to my metadata if I sign the Data Exchange Agreement?

Europeana will publish your metadata as Linked Open Data and will make it available via its APIs to third parties for re-use. From then on, everyone will be able to copy, re-use and adapt your metadata.


How is Europeana financed?

Europeana and the projects contributing data to Europeana.eu have been funded by the European Commission under eContentplus, the Information and Communications Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) and similar programmes. In order to participate in a wide range of projects, which are only funded by the Commission for 50-100% of the costs and do not include overheads, Europeana is also reliant on Member States' ministries of culture and education for an element of its funding.

Can Europeana provide funding to support my project?

Europeana has been funded by the European Commission under eContentplus and the Information and Communications Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP). Its resources are allocated solely to fulfil the objectives and deliver results stipulated in the Description of Work of each project.


Where can I view tools and prototypes developed by other projects or institutions?

Where can I view tools and prototypes developed by other projects or institutions?

Please visit our ThoughtLab page to see what has been done in different areas by our partners and find out about prototypes developed using the Europeana API.

Working with Europeana

Do you have any job openings or internships?

Current opportunities are listed on our Job Opportunities page.

Can Europeana link to my website?

We link to the websites of cultural institutions, partners, projects and aggregators who are directly participating in Europeana. We also link to selected cultural websites that fit within our remit.. Europeana does not participate in link-sharing schemes.

How can I or my company share technological expertise with Europeana?

Please contact us through our Feedback Form with your proposition and we will pass your message on to the correct contact person.