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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday October 7, 2019

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Senior Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

GIF IT UP returns for its sixth year to fill the internet with cultural heritage

From 1 - 31 October 2019, GIF-makers, cultural heritage enthusiasts and fans of all things digital can take part in the sixth annual GIF IT UP competition

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GIF IT UP challenges people to reuse digitised cultural heritage material to produce unique artworks of their own and share them online. This year, the competition is run by Europeana in close collaboration with the Digital Public Library of America, Trove and DigitalNZ

Using the copyright-free paintings, photography and texts digitised in these online collections, throughout October participants can create, submit, and share striking new GIFs to fill the internet with cultural heritage. The competition promotes the use of public domain and openly licensed content, and helps audiences learn about image licensing in an interactive and fun way. GIF IT UP is supported by GIPHY, the world's largest library of animated GIFs.

The 2019 competition has a special focus on getting young people involved, with a prize category for schools to encourage students aged 8 - 18 to take part. This will introduce a new generation to online cultural heritage treasures, promote awareness of copyright, and encourage children to learn new digital skills. Simple online tutorials are available on the GIF IT UP website to get all first-time GIF makers started. 

And as part of Europeana’s season for 2019, Europe at Work, there is an additional special prize category for GIFs inspired by industrial heritage material. The new industrial heritage collection on Europeana brings together around half a million cultural heritage objects from across Europe, offering great inspiration for people looking to make GIFs from industrial and labour-related heritage material!

Entries can be submitted until 31 October through the GIF IT UP website. The jury, made up of representatives from GIPHY, DailyArt and the Teaching with Europeana project, will award prizes sponsored by Europeana and GIPHY. The winners will be announced in November on the GIF IT UP website and online. Follow all the fun and view the winning entries with the hashtag #GIFITUP2019! 

GIF IT UP started in 2014 as an initiative of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and DigitalNZ and has been inspiring people to get creative with cultural heritage ever since. In 2018, 250 people entered the competition with the winning GIF created by Kristen and Jeff Gill (Los Angeles, USA). 

And the competition is building a return following. Alexander King, who won the ‘First-time GIF-maker’ category in 2017, also participated in the competition in 2018. He said, ‘This was my second year participating in @Europeanaeu's awesome gif making contest #GIFItUp2018, where you use public domain resources to make a fun gif!’ (via Twitter). 

Media contact

Georgia Evans - Europeana Foundation 


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). The Europeana Foundation is the organisation tasked by the European Commission with developing a digital cultural heritage platform for Europe.

Europeana DSI is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility.