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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday October 6, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

Europeana highlights - spring/summer 2020

Every quarter we'll bring you a round-up of what's been going on across the Europeana Initiative, but to start with let's look back at the last six months (April to September 2020). Highlights in this period include how the sector has responded to COVID-19, a new five-year strategy, updates from the organisations that make up the Europeana Initiative, improvements to our two websites, plus great new content and campaigns, and a new all-digital events programme.

COVID-19 and preparing the new normal

The first half of 2020 gave the cultural heritage sector an unprecedented challenge in the face of COVID-19. In this time, the people, networks and organisations that form the Europeana Initiative came together in solidarity, to help the cultural heritage sector to keep working, to keep talking and to innovate, preparing us for longer-term changes.

Our sector is large and diverse and post-crisis its new normal includes digital practices as never before. The need for ongoing transformation of the sector is becoming increasingly important, and together we are designing sustainable digital strategies that make use of open source technologies, leverage citizen science and participatory approaches across our collections and digital resources. The new Europeana Strategy 2020-2025, which imagines a cultural heritage sector powered by digital, is now more important than ever.

Europeana Strategy 2020-2025

A cultural heritage sector powered by digital and empowered to digital change by Europeana

Published in spring 2020, the Europeana Strategy 2020-2025 sees Europeana focus on a single task: supporting the digital transformation of Europe’s cultural heritage sector. 

The summer started with a manifesto, launched on Europe Day through the European Heritage Alliance, setting out how the cultural heritage sector can contribute to Europe’s recovery, and calling on EU institutions to put the sector at the heart of plans for Europe’s future.

And it ended with the publication of a position paper to support the consultation of the European Commission on the opportunities that digital technology offers the sector. The paper underlined elements critical to executing the Europeana Strategy 2020-2025 and to realising the potential of digital cultural heritage for the recovery of Europe.

Shaping organisational structures

All three of the bodies that make up the Europeana Initiative have finetuned their structures this year. The Europeana Foundation restructured its governing board. The Europeana Network Association launched a membership campaign and called for new faces on its Members Council. And the Europeana Aggregators' Forum looked at reshaping its role within the Initiative. To support them all, the Europeana Pro website was improved with a new information architecture and visual design.

Bringing digital culture to all

Improved website and great new content

In a year in which people's movements were restricted by the pandemic, huge numbers turned online for education, work and entertainment, and culture had an opportunity to shine. We renewed the Europeana collections website making the site faster and the content more discoverable and more accessible than ever before. And we published new content, bringing an exhibition from the European Parliament Archives online (in 24 languages) and publishing blogs, galleries and exhibitions as part of the Discovering Europe season, highlighting Europe’s rich natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Top reads this season

Some of the most-read Europeana Pro News items from April to September 2020 were to do with advocacy - making sure that digital culture is a priority for policy makers across Europe, and that we have a copyright landscape in which it can flourish. 


When large parts of Europe went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events had to start to work very differently. Europeana implemented new ways of working. Physical meetings went digital. Face-to-face discussions became screen-to-screen. And we shared a guide on how we did it to help others in the same situation.