2 minutes to read Posted on Monday April 10, 2017

portrait of Nicole McNeilly

Nicole McNeilly

Collections Editor , Europeana Foundation

Inspire makers to creatively transform Europe’s digital cultural heritage

Lorňon, Uměleckoprůmyslové Museum V Praze, CC BY

We recently launched the Europeana ‘makers pilot’, a programme of research and promotional activities to explore how to harness the value of Europeana’s free to reuse content for makers. The maker movement is no less diverse or easier defined than the contested market it sits within, the creative industries. However, we know that it is a dynamic, digitally connected, innovative and independent community. There is a continued need for inspiration and resource to help the movement to disrupt traditional manufacturing processes and to deliver the anticipated third industrial revolution.

That is where Europeana comes in. Europeana’s digital heritage content, drawn from the collections of over 3500 cultural heritage institutions across Europe, has the potential to inspire new designs, products and businesses. Our focus in the maker market will be high level amateur and professional makers who can demonstrate originality and excellence in using digital and technological means (eg computer-aided design, 3D printing or laser cutters) in concept, design and process to produce digital or physical products.

A focus on our content

Over the next nine months we will run three campaigns highlighting a specific area of our content that could provide inspiration for makers. The first campaign is dedicated to Art Nouveau, to echo the respective thematic season and exhibition. Until the end of May, we will publish regular blogs on Europeana Labs highlighting what we think is the most interesting free to re-use content for makers from our Art Nouveau collection. These content picks will come from the Europeana Labs’ datasets and our Pinterest Boards and we will coordinate when possible with the expert blogs written from our partners. The content focus for the second and third campaigns (July to August and November 2017, respectively) will be announced soon.

Events and research

We will attend a few local and international events to promote Europeana’s offer for makers, and we are keen to explore other promotional opportunities where we can reach high level amateur and professional makers. We are also planning a programme of consultation with professionals in the creative industries and peers in the cultural heritage sector with three objectives. Firstly, to explore our understanding of the makers market and how makers could use our content; secondly, to consider potential partnership opportunities; and finally, to engage our network to understand better the existing activity linking cultural heritage and makers.

Get involved

Email us if you have ideas on the type of content makers could make use of, how makers could (re-)use Europeana’s incredible content, or to share expertise as we begin exploring this market. Join the conversation on Twitter with #MakeWithEuropeana. We look forward to hearing from you!

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