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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday November 30, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Lorena Aldana

Lorena Aldana

Head of External Relations and Advocacy , Europeana Foundation

Europeana Initiative begins building the common European data space for cultural heritage

The Europeana Initiative is at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage, a flagship initiative of the European Union to support the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector. As of September 2022, together with our partners we have started turning the data space into a reality and we are excited to share what’s in store for the next year. 

Human stem cell
Human stem cell embedded in a 3D matrix, Cryo SEM
Eileen Gentleman
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

The common European data space for cultural heritage is funded under the Digital Europe programme as part of Europe’s Digital Decade. The Europeana Foundation - together with 18 committed partners and in close cooperation with the Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum - has been selected by the European Commission to deploy and steward it. Our building blocks are more than a decade of experience working toward the digital transformation of our sector, as well as our trusted and collaborative pan-European network.

Through the data space, we will continue empowering cultural heritage institutions across Europe to share digitised cultural heritage content with higher quality metadata and fostering its reuse among even wider audiences - from teachers, researchers and creatives to culture lovers and curious minds. And much more - the data space offers an unprecedented opportunity to boost advanced digitisation and data-driven innovation, build capacity and develop new models of cooperation in the cultural heritage sector and beyond. 

What's in store between now and summer 2023?  

In year 1 (September 2022 - August 2023), we are excited to focus on four strands of work: 

  1. Exploring the next generation infrastructure: We will look into expanding the functionalities of the current Europeana Digital Service Infrastructure (Europeana DSI) and will investigate innovative scenarios for renewed aggregation models. We will closely collaborate with the Data Spaces Support Center to make sure the data space will be fully interoperable with the other 13 data spaces put forward by the European Commission, as well as with relevant European, national and regional initiatives.

  2. More high-quality data: We will work with the cultural heritage community to increase the amount of high-quality, usable and accessible data in the data space, with a special focus on 3D. We will also develop and put in place data governance mechanisms to ensure data is used and shared in a trustworthy, transparent and fair way.

  3. Build capacities and foster reuse: We will develop training tools and services to support cultural heritage professionals in making high-value datasets available for reuse. We will also encourage the use and reuse of cultural data among education, research, creative industries, tourism and media communities.

  4. Digital services for the public: We will continue to develop the Europeana website, engaging audiences with digital cultural heritage in a way that's user-friendly, interactive and multilingual. We will promote diverse and inclusive storytelling for more people to discover, use and reuse cultural heritage content online.

A shared vision for the common data space

To be truly successful, the data space needs cooperation, community and teamwork. And that’s where the collaborative strength of the Europeana Initiative comes in. We look forward to bringing in more partners and enlarging our community of knowledge to make the data space a place by all and for all.

We are excited to steward a vibrant digital space which is not only about technology but rather about people and values like trust, fairness and inclusion. We want to build a great place to be in. Together, we will also make sure cultural data is put to good use and for the benefit of our societies and economies.

Would you like to be part of this work? 

Join our community of experts working in the field of digital cultural heritage and contribute to our work on the data space and more. 

Learn more

Read more about the common European data space for cultural heritage here below and keep an eye out for more entries in our data space Pro News series!