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
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
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
Be succinct: no more than 300-500 words
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 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)
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.