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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday May 24, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Antonio Davide Madonna

Antonio Davide Madonna

Project Coordinator , CulturaItalia

portrait of Adrian Murphy

Adrian Murphy

Europeana Collections Manager , Europeana Foundation

Celebrating sport heritage with Europeana Sport

The Europeana Sport project has highlighted European sport heritage through publishing new cultural heritage collections, digital storytelling and a series of participatory events.

People finishing a race
L'italiana Tagliaferri vince l'ottava batteria dei 100 metri piani all'Olimpiade di Londra, seguita dall'olandese Stad-de-Jong
Associazione culturale GoTellGo

Running between October 2020 and April 2022, the Europeana sport project comprised nine partner organisations in eight countries across Europe - including aggregators. Now that the project has crossed the finishing line, we take a look back at what it has achieved. 

Digital collections and storytelling

Thanks to the work of the project, more than 28,000 new collections items relating to sport were published on Europeana. These included digitised books relating to the history of sports in Scotland, two collections of Italian sport newspapers, archive photography relating to the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam and Romanian sport publications

More than 60 different editorials were published, telling stories of the development and history of sports in Europe in blogs, an exhibition and galleries. 

Published in English, French and Spanish, the exhibition Heroes of the Olympic Games features profiles of around 50 athletes from across Europe and beyond, focusing on their lives and sporting achievements in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Blogs and galleries were published every month from November 2020 onwards, focusing on sport as played at local, national and international levels, the development of specific sports in particular countries, the stories of minority sports, histories of sporting clubs and communities as well as biographies and life-stories of individual sports people.

The project contributed to Europeana's seasons and campaigns including Women's History Month, Black History Month, GIF IT UP and the sport season in summer 2021.

People playing football
Persfoto Olympische Zomerspelen 1928 Amsterdam, 296 oefenwedstrijd op trainingsveld, Algemeen Fotobureau (Ltd.) Amsterdam 1928
Algemeen Fotobureau (Ltd) Amsterdam
The Dutch Olympic Committee, Dutch Sports Federation
People playing football

Participatory events

Project partners organised a series of participatory events and campaigns inviting the public to share their stories and memories relating to sport in each of the countries where partners are based. Throughout summer and autumn 2021 and into 2022, the partners organised 14 events: both physical in-person events and online events and campaigns. 

Events were held in libraries, museums, archives, online, at a sporting event, in a school and at a stadium. We were particularly pleased to be able to host most of these events in person, when the public health situation during the pandemic allowed - find out more.

The collection day events and associated online campaigns led to more than 300 sport stories on Europeana, published as user-generated collections.

The Europeana Sport partners also organised a number of events to help professional audiences engage with the project and sporting heritage. From introducing the project as part of Europeana’s spring programme, to workshops about copyright and sports related data, from GIF-making to exploring engagement, these events informed and inspired.  

The project showed the value for both cultural heritage institutions and the European public of bringing sports heritage to the surface. You can explore all the great sports collections on Europeana here and share your sports story.