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Posted on Monday September 4, 2017

What kind of content is Europeana looking for?

We want to build on Europe’s rich heritage and make it easier for people to use, whether for work, for learning or just for fun. We are therefore constantly adding new content and improving existing content to reach that goal.

Starting point: Is it European? 

Submitted content must have a connection with Europe. That means:

  • it's about Europe, Europeans or European subjects and issues; or
  • it was created in Europe; or
  • it was made by a European or a European community; or
  • it is owned by a European institution.

What does that mean for Institutions outside of the European Union?

Europeana is largely funded by the European Commission. For this reason the majority of institutions we work with are from European Union Member States. If your institution is from outside one of these countries, then your institution can still share its collection with us depending on the content scope and data quality. Indeed, many institutions already do. Please get in touch with us for more information.

What is good quality? 

New content must have metadata (machine-readable content descriptions) that point to a full digital object (no snippets, previews etc.). The object must be accessible without authentication or payment. Free-to-access digital images, sound files, videos, multimedia files, and authored text are the kind of things we're looking for.

The quality of your data is really important because in a database as big as Europeana records can get lost easily. It is therefore essential that the metadata have enough useful elements to make the content findable. For example:

  • Every record has a unique title instead of one generic one (e.g. photograph) for the entire set.
  • A unique description of at least 10 words.
  • Text strings about types and subjects, for example, that can be linked to controlled terms from Linked Open datasets or vocabularies.
  • Geo-location formatted in a standardised way (e.g using Geonames).
  • Date of creation in XSD format following the W3 recommendations.

These are just a few examples to show you what we mean by metadata quality.  

N.B. Quality not quantity

We would always prefer 200 very high-quality items than 200,000 low-quality items.

What kind of material are we most looking for at the moment?

The scope of Europeana is very broad. Anything related to our shared cultural heritage is always welcome. Europeana currently does not work with individual collectors or creators but with Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) only.

Material we are very much looking for in 2017:

  • Art (e.g: paintings, sculptures, indigenous art, video)
  • Photography (e.g: art, journalism, historical)
  • Music related content (e.g. folk music recordings, sheet music, video recordings of performances)
  • First World War related content
  • Migration related content (e.g. photography, letters, diaries, oral histories)

We will prioritize content with the following characteristics, and offer extra assistance and time to ingest:

  • Content with licences that allow re-use. Public Domain or one of the open Creative Commons licences. 
  • High-quality content (e.g. large images, full text, HD videos). 
  • Material that fits the Europeana Thematic Collections.

Which material is definitely not fit for Europeana? 

  • Bibliographical records without a link to a digital object
  • Contemporary academic journals
  • Individual works
  • Digital objects that should be a single entity but are given to us as multiples. (For example, when every page of a census record arrives as a unique object, rather than included within the whole collection.)