Posted on Friday December 14, 2018

Updated on Wednesday October 20, 2021

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. 

Whether you’re a curator, heritage professional, data partner, researcher, student or enthusiast, you can suggest ideas for editorial on Europeana’s objects.

Guidelines for contributors

We invite proposals for the following formats:

  • Blogs – short editorial pieces that illuminate a topic; usually 400-1,200 words

  • Exhibitions – long-form narratives that engage readers with text and imagery  

  • Galleries – sets of minimum 20 items on a subject or theme

If you’d like to propose a story idea, please send your pitch (no more than 300 words) to editorial@europeana.eu. Include an outline of what the story will cover, why it’s suitable for Europeana collections, and the format it will take. You can also submit this information through our Google Form

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 2-3 months. Only pitch 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 both Google Slides and text, below.

Editorial guidelines for contributors

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.

Publishing with purpose

Europeana’s editorial objectives are to:

  • Encourage audiences to discover & engage with collections about European cultural heritage

  • Tell compelling stories about collections, people & objects

  • Showcase Europeana as a diverse and rich source

  • Maximise our reach via extensive social media marketing

Editorial principles

We are guided by these principles:

  • Be inspiring, welcoming and intelligent

  • Reflect the diversity of European culture

  • Fairly represent our cultural heritage providers

  • Always attribute, credit and link content

  • Focus on topics in the thematic collections framework

  • Avoid content duplication or repetition

Editorial formats

Blogs

Blogs can:

  • Tell the story of individual artists, artworks or institutions

  • Answer a question for the audience

  • Relate to a topical contemporary issue

  • Be a short, themed compilation of images/objects

  • Announce new features or functionalities

  • Relate to Europeana campaigns or seasons

  • Highlight the history of a certain topic or theme

Blogs should:

  • Usually be 400-1,200 words long
  • Feature a number of images, sound clips or videos, with a minimum of 3 objects from Europeana

  • Be on topics that encourage sharing

  • Use appropriate keyword-friendly language in titles

  • Have titles that clearly signpost the topic to users

  • Link to objects in Europeana

  • Europeana’s blog is primarily in English, but we can also publish blogs in any of the EU’s 24 supported languages.

Exhibitions

  • Exhibitions are longer-form editorial format, usually arranged over several chapters

  • Text should be light, engaging and informative

  • Optimal exhibition size is 2000-3000 words, with 20-30 images, the majority of which should be available in Europeana

  • Exhibitions should reflect cultural breadth and include material from multiple institutions across Europe

  • You can include any content that can be embedded in an iframe.

  • Multilingual: exhibitions can be published in English and any of the EU’s 24 supported languages

  • Exhibition’s main cover image should be openly licensed (Public Domain, CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA)

Galleries

  • Showcase curated visual material to culture lovers

  • Focus on a single defined topic, like an artist, a type of object, or a time/place

  • Typically feature 25-50 items

  • Reflect cultural breadth and include material from multiple institutions across Europe - not only from a single source

  • Titles should reflect SEO principles

  • Descriptions should use keywords, can include hyperlinks and must be no longer than 280 characters

  • Every Monday we publish and promote #GalleryOfTheWeek

Curate your gallery

  • The Europeana account functionality (released in late 2020) allows registered users to create their own galleries, which can be kept private or made public. Selected public galleries may be featured on the Europeana website and promoted by Europeana’s Collections Engagement team.

Licensing

  • Blogs, exhibitions and galleries can feature digital objects with any licence or rights statement from the Europeana Licensing Framework

  • We encourage authors to use openly licensed content where possible.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

Guidance for writing for exhibitions / blogs

Style and tone of voice

Europeana’s editorial is aimed at culture lovers across the world. The personality we convey is intelligent, welcoming and inspiring. Our editorial should not read like an academic journal or a legal document. We want to see the humanity in it. 

We want our editorial to be easily understood by a range of readers all around the world. So we prefer simple writing and simple punctuation. Think one idea per paragraph. Avoid complicated structures that require complex punctuation. Read it out loud and make sure there are places to breathe.

Think about your story

  • Before you begin, think about the story you want to tell. 

  • What is the reader going to learn from this exhibition or blog?

  • Then break it down into smaller sections.

  • What does each exhibition chapter or section of a blog reveal? How does it relate to the others?

  • And think about how the sections relate to each other. Remember that people don’t always explore an exhibition in the order it’s written. And people might share their favourite bit of your blog on social media - each section needs to work by itself, while being part of the whole story.

Be an expert

You’re contributing to Europeana because you have specialist knowledge. We’d love you to  give us something that Wikipedia or a quick Google search doesn’t provide. Give us a new perspective - something we don’t know - and link your text closely to the digital collections, using a range of sources from different organisations / countries.

Please explain - or better still avoid - any jargon so that your text is accessible to a wide range of readers. Don’t forget many are reading in a second language. 

Useful tips

  • Use conversational tone and accessible language (no jargon)

  • Focus on one story (do not include off-topic information)

  • Keep paragraphs to 1-3 sentences

  • You can add images or embed video or audio (where embedding is allowed)

  • Use subheadings, white space and images, other media or pull quotes to break up longer sections of text

  • Make sure the title / subtitle / introduction is  SEO-friendly 

  • We use British English spellings, the Oxford English Dictionary and the European Commission’s English Style Guide

Support from Europeana

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 at editorial@europeana.eu.

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