Why is Linked Open Data important for Europeana and its community?

Linked Data offers many opportunities to the cultural sector, as suggested in the reports from the W3C Library Linked Data incubator group and our own animation.

Releasing Europeana metadata as Linked Open Data is important for Europeana, its partners and third parties. Linked Open Data has a key role in the Europeana Strategy 2020-2025 and supports the idea that Europeana is a platform where users can access data.

How can data.europeana.eu facilitate data reuse?

First, Linked Data is a publishing technique that enables related data to be connected and makes it easily accessible using common Web technologies. See this White Paper for further discussion on the scientific interest of Linked Data for the Europeana community.

Second, Linked Open Data realises this in an open manner, where everyone can access, re-use, enrich and share the data published. See this policy document for further explanation on why Europeana and its partners should open the metadata they gather from all around Europe, and the APIs section of our site for general information on Europeana’s efforts. You may also be interested in this paper at Museum & the Web that gives interesting context and pointers to current Linked Open Data developments.

What does our Linked Open Data look like?

The data served by data.europeana.eu is generated from the metadata Europeana has harvested using the Europeana Data Model (EDM). To make this data amenable to Linked Data publishing, we have converted it to the Resource Description Framework (RDF) format, and structured it using EDM. We give more detail on the EDM data we publish on the Data Structure page.

The data harvested by Europeana may include links to Linked Open Data resources such as AAT, GND, Iconclass, VIAF or any domain vocabulary following the EDM recommendations for metadata on contextual resources (see the list of vocabularies supported by Europeana).

In addition to the original data harvested by Europeana from its data providers, the data served at data.europeana.eu includes semantic connections to external (linked data) sources, which come mostly from semantic enrichment connecting Europeana items to structured representations of places, concepts, persons, organisations and time periods.

How can you access, use and contribute to Europeana’s Linked Open Data?

As this project is about engaging users from different communities, we have made sure that data from the service can be accessed, re-used, enriched and shared by everyone.

data.europeana.eu serves metadata following the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Data can be accessed via the SPARQL end-point. You can also fetch a subset of this data over the HTTP protocol, using established Linked Data recipes, most notably the use of HTTP URIs as identifiers and entry points into data. Here are some examples of these data.europeana.eu resources (note that the URIs below are content negotiated, and when clicked on a web browser they will lead to the Europeana website and not to the actual RDF data):

The data can also be fetched via the Europeana Record API, and the harvesting and download services, which allow you to download and harvest the entirety, or a selection, of all Europeana metadata.

How can you contribute?

If you are a Europeana data provider, you don’t need to submit your data again to be part of the Europeana LOD. Once your data is available in the Europeana website it becomes automatically available as linked data via data.europeana.eu. 

If you don’t yet share data with Europeana, you can find out more on our Share your data page

If you have any questions or feedback, contact us directly via api@europeana.eu.

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