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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday November 20, 2018

Updated on Wednesday November 15, 2023

portrait of Emily D’Alterio

Emily D’Alterio

Former Editorial & PR Officer , Europeana Foundation

Europeana 10 years on: It is time to be bold again

Europeana, Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage, celebrates 10 years of digitising culture and challenges Europe to shape the next 10 with bold digital innovation.

Europeana 10th anniversary

Ten years ago, on the 20th of November 2008, the first Europeana website was launched in Brussels. This was an initiative of the European Union to make sure that Europe could take ownership over the digitisation of its heritage and make it an integral part of its future. Today Europeana makes over 50 million items from close to 4,000 libraries, museums and archives across Europe available on the web in standardised formats.

Elisabeth Niggemann, Director of the German National Library and Chair of the Europeana Foundation governing board said: ‘The unique achievement of Europeana is that it provided a vector for the sector and the policymakers in Europe to give unobstructed access to our heritage. This changed a mindset.’

Ten years later Europe is entering into a new era of digital transformation.

Harry Verwayen, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation said: ‘Today we celebrate our achievements but we also call for action. With the advent of artificial intelligence and mixed reality, it is vital that the cultural heritage sector is empowered to make good use of these technologies, on its own terms.’


  • Europeana Collections - the digital portal provides a doorway to some of the world’s most iconic and local cultural heritage items and collections. These are presented alongside user-generated content from everyday people - in an effort to preserve cultural heritage at all stages throughout history from, and for, all Europeans.

  • Europeana awarded best REST API at API World 2017. The REST API is a digital tool that allows people to build applications that use the cultural heritage objects stored in the Europeana repository. It is open-source and the code is available online. The API allows people in all industries - from creatives to researchers - to use the digital cultural heritage in a practical way to create new products.

  • The pan-European, cross-generational, multilingual Europeana 1914-1918 Transcribathon initiative. The initiative uses the unique skills of the community - teams of school children to pensioners - who compete together to transcribe documents from World War One so that they can be digitised, and translated for all to access and read.

  • The development of - a platform that guides cultural heritage institutions on copyright information so they can get the best use out of digital cultural heritage, whilst protecting the rights of institutions and creators.

  • Europeana was named by the Nominet Trust as one of the 100 inspiring ‘tech for good’ projects. The award recognised Europeana as a tech innovator providing better access to knowledge and education and fostering understanding, knowledge and cultural value in society.


Media contact

Emily D’Alterio - Europeana Foundation

E: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Digital Transformation
New European Agenda for Culture
Europeana REST API wins the 2017 Data APIs category award
Europeana Data Model (EDM)

About Europeana

Europeana is Europe’s platform for digital cultural heritage with a mission to ‘transform the world with culture’. Europeana Collections is Europe’s digital library, museum, gallery and archive. From books, photos and paintings to television broadcasts and 3D objects, Europeana Collections provides online access to a vast store of cultural heritage material from across Europe for everyone to find, use and share: for research, for learning, for creating new things. (@EuropeanaEU)

About Europeana Transcribathon

Europeana Transcribathon is a crowdsourcing initiative that allows the public to add their own transcriptions, annotations and geo-tags to sources from Europeana 1914-1918. Developed by Facts & Files and Olaf Baldini, piktoresk, the website is free to use and open to all members of the public. New contributors can now register and submit their own stories within the Europeana Collections site.