Institution: Parisienne de Photographie,
Country: FrancePublic Domain
This vision for Europeana imagines a cultural heritage sector powered by digital and a Europe powered by culture, giving it a resilient, growing economy, increased employment, improved well-being and a sense of European identity.
Europeana empowers the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. We develop expertise, tools and policies to embrace digital change and encourage partnerships that foster innovation. We make it easier for people to use cultural heritage for education, research, creation and recreation. Our work contributes to an open, knowledgeable and creative society
To my mind, the cultural side of our continent is just as important as our economic outreach... Europe can and must become a real, vibrant ecosystem in the 21st century, a strong community based on the three challenges, the environmental, digital and social challenges.
This strategy was written before the full extent and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made itself felt. Cultural heritage institutions are facing immediate and real issues, yet have also quickly risen to the challenge, with numerous online initiatives to stay connected to their audiences through digital culture.
The need to embrace and support the digital transformation of Europe’s cultural heritage sector and to do so in an inclusive way, has never been more important. The vision of this strategy, a digitally powered cultural heritage sector taking its place at the heart of society, is confirmed. The building blocks of the strategy to support that, remain the same. The priorities for its implementation in the near and longer term are and will further be reflected upon as the immediate and post-crisis challenges become clearer.
Whatever our ‘new normal’ will look like, Europeana will continue to work with and for the cultural heritage sector to empower digital change, in response to this crisis and in the longer term.
The Europeana Initiative is financed by the European Commission with the crucial support of EU Member States. The Initiative is run by the Europeana Foundation, as the operator of the core service, with a consortium of partners and in close collaboration with the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and the Europeana Network Association. This collaboration creates a multiplier effect for the Initiative’s many activities at European level. Together with work undertaken at Member State level, this builds a balanced ecosystem to support Member States’ drive for digital transformation across the sector and across Europe.
Creator: Desmond Fitzgerald
Institution: UCD School of History and Archives
Country: IrelandCC BY-NC-SA
The Europeana Network Association is a strong and democratic community of experts working in the field of digital heritage, united by a shared mission to expand and improve access to Europe's digital cultural heritage.
Creator: Foto Grijpink Nijmegen
Institution: Regionaal Archief Nijmegen
Country: NetherlandsCC BY-SA
The network of national, domain and thematic aggregators who support cultural institutions providing data and content to Europeana.
Digital transformation isn’t just about how cultural heritage institutions operate. It is about how they think. It isn’t just about technology and assets. It’s about people and skills.
No matter where they are in their journey, all cultural heritage institutions will be supported to create good quality digital assets in standardised formats, allowing them to share, explore, interrogate and use their collections in ways that fulfil their institutions’ own 21st century missions.
As both the common multilingual access point to digital European heritage and a powerful platform for storytelling, Europeana will enable cultural heritage institutions to transcend cultural and national borders and place their collections in the European context - to be part of the story of Europe.
Digital means ‘usable’.
Europeana provides the impetus, expertise and tools to support cultural heritage institutions in harnessing digital to open up their collections - to make them available to be used in new ways.
Europeana’s work is ‘reliable’.
Europeana supports the cultural heritage institutions that safeguard Europe’s heritage, those who organise it, structure it and make it accessible with great care and precision.
Europeana works for ‘mutual’ benefit.
The Europeana Initiative is a networked organisation, a partnership of connected bodies and cultural heritage professionals.
Europeana should never simply follow the latest trends. Where it has specialist expertise, it should lead them. Where that expertise lies with other organisations or networks, it should collaborate with them. And it should always contribute to a Cultural Commons that benefits institutions and citizens. Here are four trends that influence our strategy.
Cultural heritage institutions are increasingly expected to embrace openness and participatory processes and to make the public part of their curatorial processes. This changes the traditional institutional culture – from exclusive, introvert and authoritative to open, inclusive and collaborative.
Cultural heritage institutions work with global players such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple as well as with commercial image services and digital solutions based in their own countries. These partnerships are important. But a strong public alternative is crucial.
Tech is changing all the time. Europeana can help the cultural heritage sector to use technologies in ways that support its digital transformation - to lead with technology, not be led by it.
Climate change is putting physical heritage at risk. As a community, the Europeana Network Association can surface concerns, approaches and best practice for responses at both institution and sector level. Both the climate crisis and the COVID-19 crisis remind us to work together as a global community.
Priority #1: Strengthen the infrastructure
Challenge: Inefficiencies in technical infrastructure make it harder for institutions to share their collections online effectively.
Solution: The Europeana Initiative will invest in supporting innovation activities that keep the infrastructure aligned with state-of-the-art tech.
Priority #2: Improve data quality
Challenge: The lack of sufficient high-quality content and metadata highly affects the access to and visibility and reusability of digital content.
Solution: The Europeana Initiative will invest resources in activities related to metadata and content improvement. It will use new technologies like machine-learning algorithms to enrich metadata records.
Priority #3: Build capacity
Challenge: The needs of cultural heritage institutions are many and varied, so it’s difficult to achieve consistency in digital output and mindset across the sector.
Solution: The Europeana Initiative will support institutions in their digital transformation. It will showcase the importance and added value of digitisation, adoption of standards, best practice and common solutions.