2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday October 6, 2022

Updated on Wednesday October 12, 2022

DSI-4 Final report 2018-2022

The Europeana Digital Service Infrastructure (DSI) showcased and provided online access to Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage through the Europeana website and supported cultural heritage institutions as they adapt to this digital age. Explore highlights of the project, which ran from 2018-2022.

Europeana DSI-4 and Digital Transformation

The European Union is working to create the infrastructure that will support its citizens, sectors and public administrations in their access to digital services. It is building ‘digital bridges’ through what it calls Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs), to provide access to those services for the benefit of all.  Europeana is the DSI that delivers services to showcase and provide online access to Europe’s digital cultural heritage.

The Europeana service was provided by a consortium of 24 partners, coordinated by the Europeana Foundation, and funded under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The Europeana DSI-4 project ran from September 2018 to August 2022. 

The work carried out throughout DSI-4, whether related to data, engagement, networks or reuse, all contributes to Europeana’s overarching goal of supporting the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector. 

The impact of digital transformation is different for each individual organisation. Each change, no matter how small, contributes to a cultural heritage sector powered by digital and a Europe powered by culture. 

Four years of change

The sociopolitical landscape has been changing, and the Europeana Initiative has shown a growing sense of responsibility in areas such as diversity and inclusion and climate action - issues that affect every area of our work.

From early 2020 onwards, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted us all and it underlined the need and urgency for cultural heritage to be accessible digitally – for all, and from anywhere. 

Threats to democracy are having repercussions for cultural heritage organisations, their dedicated professionals and the cultural heritage collections themselves, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 a particular concern. 

We thank Europeana Foundation staff, our partners and friends in the Europeana Network Association, the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and all of the projects we are part of across the sector for their drive, resilience, continued dedication and hard work.

Building capacity across the sector

The Europeana Initiative’s mission ‘To empower the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation’ was set out in the Europeana Strategy 2020-2025. Tools, resources, frameworks and a leading events programme provided cultural heritage professionals with opportunities to learn, develop their skills and expertise and improve digital practices, resulting in an approach to building capacity which has contributed towards a strengthened and digitally transforming sector.

Infographic with figures 3,750 ENA members (2,000 in 2018); 3,250 event participants per year (860 in 2018); 40 accredited aggregators
Title:
Infographic
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
Netherlands
Infographic with figures 3,750 ENA members (2,000 in 2018); 3,250 event participants per year (860 in 2018); 40 accredited aggregators

Events programming: Motivated by the pandemic, we moved from in-person events to a full range of digital workshops, webinars, and our first-ever online-only annual conference. This change saw thousands – rather than the previous hundreds – of professionals come together from across the globe each year. Throughout DSI-4, over 19,600 people attended an event (in-person or online) or watched a recording.

Strengthening our networks: The Europeana Foundation, Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum developed closer working practices, contributing to Europeana’s strategic development, and forming what has become known as the ‘Europeana Initiative’. A new scheme saw 40 aggregators certify their data expertise as Europeana Accredited Aggregators. The Europeana Initiative worked together on 13 Task Forces, seven working groups and developed seven area-specific communities.

Europeana Impact Playbook: The four-phase Playbook, dedicated to defining, measuring, narrating and evaluating impact, was collaboratively developed with the  Europeana Initiative, building on real-life experience. It led to the creation of the Europeana Impact Standardised Question Bank – the first collection of evaluation and impact assessment questions in cultural heritage.

Capacity building highlights include:
Title:
AGM 2018 Vienna
Date:
2018
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
Netherlands

Strengthening infrastructure and improving data quality

Aggregating high-quality metadata and providing access to high-quality digital assets requires clear criteria for data quality, an underlying framework, appropriate tools and technologies and good partner relationships. 

The evolution of our standards and frameworks, the development of our aggregation infrastructure and new technologies as well as the establishment of a solid structure for the aggregation landscape in Europeana enabled us to confidently move into the next era in which Europeana will be at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage.

Infographic showing 62% content is 'good quality' (from 47% in 2019); 2,150 EuropeanaTech members (from 1,080 in 2018)
Title:
Infographic
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
Netherlands
Infographic showing 62% content is 'good quality' (from 47% in 2019); 2,150 EuropeanaTech members (from 1,080 in 2018)

A complete aggregation pipeline: Metis, our data aggregation infrastructure, and the Metis Suite of supporting tools, notably the Metis Sandbox and the Statistics Dashboard - now form a complete aggregation pipeline, making it easier to identify, report on and discuss data quality. Over 117 million records were processed during DSI-4, increasing the quality of data in Europeana significantly. 

A definition of data quality: The Europeana Publishing Framework provides a definition of data quality and a method to manage and improve it. Since its completion,  we have seen a continuous improvement in data quality. The EPF and its supporting services and products have paved the way to publish high-quality data in Europeana and led to improvements to our offering, for example, the ability to offer multilingual item pages.

Innovation to improve quality: Advances in the areas of interoperability, multilinguality and enrichments (both at source and after ingestion), and updates to our data model (EDM) support the goal of achieving higher-quality data in Europeana. To acquire richer data at source, we have tried new approaches for data aggregation, and experiments into Artificial Intelligence look to enhance both content and metadata.

Infrastructure and data quality highlights include:
Title:
Ritratto maschile
Date:
2011
Institution:
Associazione culturale GoTellGo
Country:
Italy

Participation and reuse

Participation in culture creates value in the cultural sector and society at large. We want to set high standards for participatory practices on our platform, in our campaigns and in the global cultural sector. 

During DSI-4, we’ve made the Europeana website more usable, accessible and multilingual, we’ve shared diverse editorial with powerful storytelling, and we’ve helped educators, researchers, culture lovers and creatives to enjoy and reuse Europeana’s digital cultural heritage.

Infographic showing 4,500 Twitter followers of Europeana Research (2,200 in 2018); 131,000 facebook fans (106,500 in 2018); 6,870 Europeana Education Facebook group members (800 in 2018); 71 exhibitions (33 in 2018)
Title:
Infographic
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
Netherlands
Infographic showing 4,500 Twitter followers of Europeana Research (2,200 in 2018); 131,000 facebook fans (106,500 in 2018); 6,870 Europeana Education Facebook group members (800 in 2018); 71 exhibitions (33 in 2018)

Digital culture for all: Driven by increased knowledge about our audiences, the Europeana website was transformed during DSI-4. It shifted to a new platform using new technology and offered audiences better experiences in their own languages, more interactivity through their own Europeana accounts and the ability to create and share galleries. Exhibitions in all EU languages, themed participatory campaigns, and interactive festivals and competitions, provided exciting ways to explore and use cultural heritage material. 

Enriching research and education: With dedicated areas on the Europeana website just for teachers, grant opportunities for researchers, exciting partnerships, online courses and mentoring programmes, multilingual learning resources, and integration of Europeana content into external digital tools and services, through our suite of APIs, Europeana is reaching more teachers, academics, researchers and students than ever before. 

Diversity and inclusion: We have explored what Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) means to the Europeana Initiative, making sure our events and our websites are welcoming and accessible to all. An editorial grants programme supports those with unique lived experiences to contribute to our seasons and features. And we have developed and implemented Inclusive Engagement Guidelines which have become integral to how we collaborate, communicate and engage with each other. 

Participation and reuse highlights include:
Title:
Macedonia Studio team in the Built with Bits virtual space
Institution:
Macedonia Team
Country:
Spain

Innovating through collaborative projects

During DSI-4, Europeana integrated the outcomes of 19 Europeana Generic Services projects which delivered millions of high-quality objects to the Europeana website and enriched millions of metadata objects for enjoyment and reuse. The projects also developed innovative tools and services around aggregation, enrichment, 3D display, and user engagement, while also providing training on these topics to build capacity across the sector.

Infographic showing 254 blogs, 119 galleries and 12 exhibitions
Title:
Infographic
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
Netherlands
Infographic showing 254 blogs, 119 galleries and 12 exhibitions

Data and enrichments: The projects delivered over 12 million high-quality objects to Europeana on a wide range of topics, including photography, manuscripts, archaeology, natural history, migration, sport, Chinese and Jewish heritage, the 20th century and more. Projects contributed 7.7 million data enrichments, either through crowdsourcing or automatic enrichment tools.

Tools and services: The projects developed innovative tools and services around aggregation, enrichment, 3D display, and user engagement. Some of these are now part of the Europeana Core Service Platform and have helped to enhance key areas of Europeana CSP such as Metis, the Europeana website and Europeana APIs. Others are available as stand-alone tools and are featured on Europeana Pro to the benefit of the whole sector.

Engagement: Generic Services projects delivered more than 470 pieces of editorial to Europeana and experimented with and introduced novel editorial formats, such as podcasts and vlogs. They hosted 31 collection days and more than 20 onsite and online crowdsourced campaigns. 

Project highlights include:
Title:
Silicon chip
Creator:
Paul Griggs
Institution:
Wellcome Collection
Country:
United Kingdom
top