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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday October 17, 2018

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Senior Adviser Online Marketing & Events , Europeana Foundation

GIF IT UP 2018 - your favourite GIF-making competition is back for its fifth year

The excitement about GIF IT UP 2018 is palpable! Here, Aleksandra Strzelichowska takes a look at the reaction on Twitter so far, tells us why it's important to check the rights statements before you submit and introduces this year's special prize for GIFs made using World War One material. 

main image
En plansch, bild på en man som är ute och promenerar med en kvinna på var sida
Stiftelsen Nordiska museet

Favourite time of the year

Is Christmas your favourite time of the year? Or summer holidays? Well, for some people it’s October. Why? Because GIF IT UP is on! This is also the time of the year when procrastination and exploring art and history become the same thing.

But on a more serious note, it’s great to see so much enthusiasm about cultural heritage material and creativity:

The competition is also an occasion to engage in deeper discussions - do you agree with Thomas that the GIF is the haiku of the moving image?

Challenge your creativity, learn a new skills check the licences

While the mechanics of the competition remain similar, every year we’re impressed by the ideas of the participants. Each year we see new cultural objects from the vast collections available on Europeana Collections, DPLA, Trove and DigitalNZ brought to life.

via GIPHY Sonja Jankov from Serbia  Source material: Cod. Min. 42, fol. 39r: Sammlung von Naturstudien u. a. von niederländischen, deutschen und italienischen Künstlern | Austrian National Library via Europeana

via GIPHY Ryan Seslow from New York, USA, Source material: En plansch, bild på en man som är ute och promenerar med en kvinna på var sida | Stiftelsen Nordiska museet via Europeana

Each edition brings first-time GIF-makers who learn a new (and very useful in the digital world!) skill by participating in the competition. They can use our tutorials or learn from other participants. And there’s a special prize to reward first-timers' efforts.

Another fixed element - the requirement of using of openly licensed content in order to be eligible for the competition remains a challenge for both beginners and seasoned GIF-makers.

This is a sign that more awareness is needed in this area. But we’re happy to help people learn about copyright, in a fun way. And it’s always great to see the authors of the rejected entries coming back with new works using openly licensed content. We love that they’re learning and embracing challenges rather than giving up.

Celebrate WWI centenary by animating archival material

In 2018, as part of the First World War centenary celebrations, we created a special prize category for a GIF created from WWI material. Inviting GIF-makers to use the WWI material in their creation is a great way to bring people’s attention to the topic and available content. It’s also a chance for the creators, but also viewers, to explore non-military aspects of the conflict, including personal experiences expressed through user-generated content. There is a lot of interest in the category and we’ve already received some great submissions.

via GIPHY Ilona Serbulenko from Odessa, Ukraine Source material: Marie Trovaslet, ouvrière d'usine chez Bessonneau à Angers | Archives départementales de Maine-et-Loire, Natural straw broad-brimmed hat trimmed with fabric flowers and wheat. Aage Thaarup, Sack back gown and petticoat of chiné velvet | V&A via Europeana

Get involved

GIF IT UP 2018 runs until 31 October 2018 - see more at and follow on social media #GIFITUP2018