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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday June 18, 2019

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

European Commission report confirms continued Member State support for Europeana

You probably know what your institution is doing for digitisation. You might even know a bit about national policy in your country. But do you know what the picture is across the EU? The new European Commission report on Cultural Heritage: Digitisation, Online Accessibility and Digital Preservation confirms continued Member State support for Europeana and for common efforts on digital preservation.

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European Commission report on Cultural Heritage: Digitisation, Online Accessibility and Digital Preservation
European Commission
European Commission

This new report from the European Commission monitors progress across the whole digital lifecycle of cultural heritage items - from planning, monitoring and funding digitisation, to facilitating online access and reuse, and to digital preservation, in all Member States. 

The report looks at progress in areas of work that Member States are involved with in the digitisation of European cultural heritage. Across the Member States, progress is naturally varied, and challenges are identified that need further effort, but the direction of travel is positive. 

In the Foreword to the 70-page report, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, says, 'I am happy to see that this report confirms the continued Member States support for Europeana and for our common efforts favouring the democratisation of the cross-border online access to authentic and trusted cultural heritage content as well as our aims to help cultural institutions adapt to the very rapidly changing digital environment.'

Seven things Member States are doing for Europeana

  1. They encourage cultural heritage institutions, as well as other publishers and rights holders, to make digitised material accessible through Europeana. 
  2. They make public funding available for digitisation projects - and increasingly, they do this on the condition that the material must be accessible through Europeana.
  3. They are working towards making all public domain masterpieces available through Europeana and on encouraging these (and other) works to be available in high-quality.
  4. They support both national and cross-border aggregators to make the most of economies of scale.
  5. They encourage common standards so that digitised material is interoperable and uses permanent identifiers. 
  6. They encourage metadata to be made available for reuse in innovation applications.
  7. They raise awareness of Europeana among the general public and in schools.

Main highlights of the report

More than one-third of Member States are funding programmes to digitise 'immovable cultural heritage' such as monuments, buildings and archaeological sites, and they're increasingly using 3D technologies in this digitisation work.

More than two-thirds of Member States promote preserving an object's public domain status after it has been digitised. 

Member States remain supportive of the development of Europeana. The quantitative targets for content being made available have largely been achieved and a focus on quality is emerging with reference made to the importance of the Europeana Publishing Framework. More than one-third of Member States encourage their cultural heritage institutions to submit high-quality content and metadata to Europeana. And more than two-thirds now have a national aggregator.

Look out over the summer as we delve deeper into what the issues covered in this report mean for Europeana and the cultural heritage sector.

Read the report