Editorial on the Europeana website

The Europeana website (Europeana.eu) uses a variety of editorial formats to tell the stories of the amazing collections found on our website. Blogs, exhibitions and galleries highlight collections from different institutions and encourage audiences to engage with this content in new ways. If you’d like to contribute, we’d love to hear from you. 

Share your story on the Europeana website

Stories connect people. We think cultural heritage does too. At Europeana, digital storytelling matters to us and our partners. Our blogs and exhibitions tell stories about history and culture with the amazing collections on the Europeana website. Want to tell your story? Here’s how to get involved.

Our stories combine engaging text with the rich variety of images and audiovisual content to be found on the Europeana website. We have two key formats:

  • Blogs – short pieces that illuminate a topic, usually 400-800 words

  • Exhibitions – longer, multi-chapter narratives, usually more than 1200 words

Send your pitch (no more than 300 words) to editorial@europeana.eu, and include an outline of what the story will cover, why it’s suitable for the Europeana website, and what format it will take. We welcome and publish stories written in any of the 24 official languages of the European Union, but please send us your pitch in English. 

Are you from an underrepresented community, or are you writing about topics that surface unheard voices from minoritised or oppressed groups and/or cultures? You might be eligible for an editorial grant through our grants programme. Please contact editorial@europeana.eu for more information on our editorial grants.

While we will give all pitches due consideration, we cannot guarantee that your idea will be published. The lead times on our content varies, but a typical timeline from pitch to publication is around 1-2 months. Only pitch something if you can produce the proposed content within this time frame.

Please note that all editorial content on Europeana is published under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA licence. For full details on formats and tone of voice, please see our editorial guidelines, available as Google Slides below.

Last but not least, did you know you can create your own Europeana galleries? Just sign up for a Europeana account and get started right away.

Editorial guidelines

Europeana presents engaging cultural heritage online – on diverse topics and from diverse sources – for learning, for work or just for fun. These guidelines describe how you can propose and develop editorial ideas as well as ensure their accessibility to all.

Style, tone of voice and storytelling

We try to engage audiences with digital cultural heritage in a way that's user-friendly, interactive and multilingual. We promote diverse and inclusive storytelling so that more people can discover, use and reuse cultural heritage content online.

We want our editorial to be easily understood by a range of readers all around the world. The personality we convey is intelligent, welcoming and inspiring - we want to see the humanity in your stories. Our editorial should not read like an academic journal or a legal document. We want to see the humanity in it.  

We use British English spellings, and we consult the Oxford English Dictionary and the European Commission’s English Style Guide to ensure consistency. We also respect Words Matter: An Unfinished Guide to Word Choices in the Cultural Sector to help our writing to be inclusive.

If you are writing in a language other than English, please consider how Europeana’s style and tone of voice might be applied to the language you’re using, and the implications of word choices to ensure your writing remains inclusive. 

Audiences want to feel informed by digital stories, but also curious, immersed, inspired and connected by them. It is this that sets storytelling apart from other content types and gives storytelling a role in engagement and community-building across the cultural heritage sector.  These seven tips are designed to help you plan, write and deliver engaging stories about cultural heritage.

Using images and audio or visual content

All images should be accompanied by ‘alt text’. This is a way of describing a visual element and is a principle of web accessibility. It provides a meaning and description to images that can be read by search engines. Visually impaired users using screen readers will use the alt description to better understand the images. Alternative text will be displayed in place of the image if the image file has trouble loading. If you need tips or guidelines on how to write effective alt-text, please refer to this document.

Any embedded audio or video should ideally have captions and audio descriptions.

To fairly represent our cultural heritage providers, all images, audio and visual material used in our editorial must be credited appropriately. 

  • Blogs and exhibitions can feature digital objects with any licence or rights statement from the Europeana Licensing Framework but we encourage authors to use openly licensed content where possible.

  • To allow promotion of the editorial on social media, we require at least one openly licensed image or permission from the rights holder.

  • In-copyright material from outside the Europeana website can only be used if specific permission has been obtained by the author from the copyright holder. 

  • Specific attention should be paid to objects with a ‘non-derivative’ licence, as these cannot be cropped or changed, e.g. in feature or hero images.

  • All contributed texts are published under a CC BY-SA licence by default. All authors are credited in blogs and exhibitions. Gallery creators are noted where space allows.

We are happy to help you

Your contributions to Europeana editorial are hugely valuable and we are very happy to support you in developing them from the ideas stage through to publication. We will work with you to ensure your texts fit our editorial style and our platform. 

Please remember that what has worked on another platform or in another format may not transfer automatically to Europeana’s style and requirements. So please assess and edit your exhibition or blog in light of these guidelines. If you have questions or difficulties, please get in touch.

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