2 minutes to read Posted on Monday February 28, 2022

Updated on Tuesday March 1, 2022

portrait of Marie-Véronique Leroi

Marie-Véronique Leroi

Project Manager , Ministry of Culture

portrait of Nicole Emmenegger

Nicole Emmenegger

Product Manager , Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision

portrait of Kerstin Herlt

Kerstin Herlt

EU Projects Coordinator , DFF – German Film Institute & Film Museum

portrait of Henning Scholz

Henning Scholz

Partner & Operations Manager , Europeana Foundation

Europeana Aggregators’ Forum Activity Plan 2022

Explore what the Europeana Aggregators' Forum has planned for 2022.

A woman standing in an overgrown field, looking at figures in the distance scaling a wall
Title:
Detail from Mädchen im Mohn
Creator:
1892
Date:
Theodor von Hörmann
Institution:
Austrian Gallery Belvedere
Country:
Austria

The Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF) coordinates all activities required for the effective functioning of a pan-European, cross-domain aggregation ecosystem at operational and strategic level. Read their plans for 2022 in full below. 

EAF aspirations 

The Europeana Initiative builds on a network of national, thematic and domain aggregators which enable cultural heritage institutions to share their content with Europeana and open it up to new audiences. Aggregators work with thousands of cultural institutions and collectors to gather authentic, trustworthy and robust data and make it accessible to Europeana, and from there to education and research infrastructures, creatives, developers and the general public. As an important source of expertise, aggregators offer advice and support in digitisation, content description, metadata mapping, copyright and licensing, media formats accessibility, multilingualism and in domain and subject vocabularies.

The Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF) coordinates all activities required for the effective functioning of a pan-European cross-domain aggregation ecosystem at operational and strategic level. At operational level, accredited aggregators ensure the development and uptake of standards and frameworks and have an active role in shaping the aggregation process and outcomes. At a strategic level, the EAF functions as an advocacy body for pan-European aggregation.

Our main goal for 2022 is to support cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) across Europe to seize digital opportunities to make their collections accessible online in high quality. In collaboration with the Europeana Foundation (EF) and the Europeana Network Association (ENA) we support Europe’s archives, libraries and museums in their digital transformation, so they are able to create maximum value with their digital collections and services, either individually or collectively, via the Europeana platform or other channels. 

In short, our objectives for 2022 will be:

  • to expand and strengthen the EAF and support emerging aggregators to join the network;

  • to increase the value for EAF members by creating opportunities for collaboration in working groups; 

  • to work more closely with the EF and ENA on a Capacity Building Framework and the topic of Diversity and Inclusion via the dedicated Initiative Task Forces;

  • to provide input to the tender under the DEP programme, in collaboration with EF and ENA; 

  • to continue to engage accredited aggregators in improving the Europeana aggregation infrastructure and other Europeana products; 

  • to further improve data quality of the aggregated content; 

  • to continue to advocate at European Commission and Member States level to strengthen and promote the role of domain, thematic and national aggregators;

  • to gather and share funding possibilities for the cultural heritage sector;

  • to continue to support CHIs and data partners in the digital transition, as a joint effort with ENA and EF.

 Areas of activity

Our 2022 activities will cover the following range of areas:

Europeana Aggregators’ Forum Steering Group

The Steering Group is responsible for the management of the EAF. It consists of three representatives from accredited aggregators elected by the General Assembly of the EAF and one representative from the EF. The EF representative runs the EAF secretariat together with EF’s Network and Policy Officer in charge of the ENA Secretariat.

The Steering Group will set the agenda for the bi-annual EAF meetings, organise and chair these meetings and ensure participation of relevant members. The Steering Group prepares communication on aggregator relevant aspects for the EAF Basecamp project and asks aggregators for feedback and input to relevant topics. It advocates visibility (e.g. Pro, events) and recognition of the role of aggregators in the ecosystem, and facilitates and supports the EAF in the DSI. 

EF supports aggregators attending the EAF meetings, ensures and safeguards consistent messaging and branding and involves aggregators in EF activities. The Steering Group will hold virtual meetings every one or two months (depending on coordination needs of the EAF) and communicate regularly.  The Steering Group represents the EAF in conferences and events organised by the European Commission and Member States.

Europeana Conference - Building the common European data space for cultural heritage together:  The role of Europeana, content aggregation and strategic frameworks - under the French Presidency of the EU

In collaboration with Mobilier National and the French Ministry of Culture and under the auspices of the French Presidency of the Council, Europeana is organising an online conference on 1 March 2022 (09:00-16:30 CET).

The conference 'Building the common European data space for cultural heritage together: The role of Europeana, content aggregation and strategic frameworks' explores the creation of the Data Space for Cultural Heritage. It takes place in the context of the European Commission’s Recommendation 2021/1970 of 10 November 2021.

The audience will include the members of  the European Commission’s Expert Group on a common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage (CEDCHE), delegates from the French Ministry and French cultural heritage institutions, aggregators and other professionals.

For the first time, this presidency event will be completely public and open to aggregators as aggregation is one of the key elements that will be discussed in the perspective of the European common data space on cultural heritage.

EAF Task Forces and Working Groups

From 2020 it is possible to propose and run Task Forces and Working Groups inside the EAF. In order to avoid duplication and possible overlaps, this activity will be carried out in close coordination with the ENA secretariat. 

The Aggregators User (Working) Group is a mechanism to engage with our key products. For products aggregators have a stake in, it will transparently facilitate the feedback loop between the EAF and the EF product development teams. Its activities started in November 2020 and will continue into 2022. The group will report twice a year to the bi-annual EAF meetings.

The IIIF Working Group, running since 2020, will continue its work in 2022 with more individual workshops for aggregators. It also aims to provide some more practical guidelines focussed on the needs of the aggregators.

The Libraries Working Group (first proposed in 2020) will be launched in 2022 and will start with exploring how to support national libraries that would like to work more closely with Europeana.

The Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group for DSI aggregators started in December 2021. The aim of the group is to assess the issue of difficult and discriminatory language and representation in data and collections, to design case studies and to come up with recommendations for data partners and aggregators in August 2022. The Working Group contributes to the EI Diversity and Inclusion Task Force that will kick off in 2022, with two representatives from the EAF. 

The EI Digital Transformation Task Force will conclude its work in 2022. It will then produce an action plan for adoption across Europeana Initiative stakeholders that includes: 

  • recommendations for activities to support and guide the sector

  • recommendations for the future of the Digital Transformation Taskforce and the possibility of a longer term working group to continue to support this work

  • recommendations on the assessment and measurement of digital transformation

  • a review of the current definition of digital transformation

Accreditation

As of January 2022, 40 aggregators are represented in the EAF. More information can be found about accredited aggregators on Europeana Pro. New applications for accreditation are evaluated by the EAF Steering Group and approved by the General Assembly of the EAF at least once a year (see below). The EAF Steering Group will also review the accreditation status of aggregators and review compliance with the accreditation criteria every two years for Aggregators as documented in the Accreditation For Europeana Aggregators

EAF and General Assembly meetings

Accredited aggregators come together twice a year for the meetings of the EAF. A General Assembly meeting is part of every EAF meeting. In 2022 one EAF and General Assembly meeting will take place in spring (4-  5 April 2022) and the second in autumn. The spring edition will be a hybrid meeting with a small group of aggregators meeting at the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision, with others joining online. 

For the second day of this meeting we plan to explore how we can collaborate to build the European data space for cultural heritage together. In this context we would like to promote the collaborative nature of the EAF and to shape the community feeling in and beyond the EAF. 

The EAF Steering Group meets regularly with the ENA Management Board. Currently these Cross-Initiative Strategy Meetings take place once a month. EAF representatives are also members of the Europeana Supervisory and Advisory Boards. Beside that, there will be regular updates on EAF activities given at the ENA Members Council meetings (three times a year), as well as ENA activity updates provided at the EAF meetings.

EAF Communications

In 2022 we are going to review the representation of the EAF on Europeana Pro. This will include reviewing aggregator pages, which will be refreshed in line with the updates of the organisation entities on the Europeana website. Now that we have generated an organisation page for every organisation that publishes data on the Europeana website, we need to ensure that aggregator names and further information published on Pro are in alignment with these pages. In addition, we will explore how to improve the presence of the EAF on Europeana Pro to have a more balanced representation of all three pillars of the Europeana Initiative.

The EAF uses Basecamp for communication with its members. We highlight news relevant to aggregators in the monthly Network Newsletter. If the amount of relevant content grows in the near future, the EAF could consider sending out its own newsletter. There will also be a closer collaboration between the ENA and EAF on Europeana Pro news, writing on topics like capacity building and diversity and inclusion. Every EAF member is encouraged to share new developments, success stories and highlights To do so, they can contact the EAF Steering Group so that possibilities for publication on Europeana Pro can be explored, together with the EF Marcomms team. As a starting point, updates can also be shared more often on the EAF Basecamp.

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