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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday December 5, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Senior Adviser Online Marketing & Events , Europeana Foundation

Discover the highlights of GIF IT UP 2022

GIF IT UP is Europeana’s annual creative contest celebrating remixing of cultural heritage. Every October, GIF-makers and cultural heritage fans are invited to create new GIFs from open-access digital collections. With the winners recently announced, discover how this year’s competition encouraged participants to reuse and remix cultural heritage. 

A butterfly and a dragonfly
Image from page 18 of Fairy Mary's Dream. By A. F. L. With illustrations by the Author
The British Library
United Kingdom

GIF IT UP 2022 in numbers

In this year’s edition of GIF IT UP, we received 88 eligible entries from 19 different countries. These entries remixed 106 digitised cultural heritage collection objects sourced from GIF IT UP partners (51 from Europeana), and these objects came from 37 different cultural heritage institutions located in 20 countries across the world. Explore the winners

New partners and new languages

Europeana runs GIF IT UP in partnership with organisations from around the world, including Japan Search, Art Institute of Chicago, DAG Museums, DPLA, Digital NZ and Trove. 

This year we welcomed two new partners, Canada’s Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and Uruguay’s Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo. Both institutions shared their openly licensed collections, giving participants more cultural heritage to explore and be inspired by. A humourous GIF depicting the airship Graf Zeppelin from the Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo collection has received the prize for the first time GIF-maker. 

To help French-speaking GIF-makers find their way through the website, with the help of BAnQ, we launched the French version of the GIF IT UP website.

Special categories and popular content

Every year, we create special categories to invite the participants to dive into cultural heritage material on a specific theme. This year’s special categories were Crafts and Nature.

November was #CraftingHeritage month on Europeana, and we saw it as a great opportunity to not only encourage people to discover the editorial and videos but also to get digitally crafty themselves. The submitted entries remixed collections related to food, music, and the most popular - fashion. 

This year’s most popular source image was 'The girl with the pearl earring' from the collection of Mauritshuis in The Hague, remixed in three different ways.

The nature category was our way of showing the link between cultural heritage and the environment. An opportunity to get creative while exploring the richness and diversity of the world’s flora and fauna through cultural collections.

And as every year, Japanese woodblock prints from various collections remain popular. Not without reason - they look great animated.

Get ready for the next edition

We have just closed this year’s edition and sent the prizes to winners, but soon, we will start preparing for GIF IT UP 2023. We hope to offer the website in more language versions to encourage even more global participation. 

While we received 88 eligible entries this year, in total we received 149 entries, but many of which were ineligible because they used non-openly licensed content. We realised that it can be challenging to understand licenses and making sure the source material is openly-licensed and can be remixed, especially for participants newer to exploring digitised cultural heritage collections. Next year, we would like to offer more opportunities to learn about this, not only before the contest but throughout the year as well. 

This year, we ran two online GIF-making workshops (check out one of them here). Based on the response, next year, we’d love to bring more GIF-making tutorials and learning opportunities. 

If you’d like to explore cultural heritage GIFs throughout the year, and learn about the workshops and new collections, follow the contest’s Instagram. And if your institution is interested in being more closely involved in the organisation of the next year’s contest, send us an email to