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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday March 25, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Aisha Villegas

Aisha Villegas

Outreach and Communications Coordinator , Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision

portrait of Sofie Taes

Sofie Taes

Research Assistant / Curator / Comms officer , Catholic University of Leuven

Introducing Europeana XX - Century of Change

In this post, we explore Europeana XX, a new Generic Services project focused on the 20th century and its social, political and economical changes as documented in photographs, videos, and works of art.

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Reunió fejocistes
Ajuntament de Girona

Kicking off Europeana XX

In early March, Europeana aggregators, cultural heritage institutions, technology companies, academics and researchers gathered for the official kick-off of a new project funded by the EU in the scope of the Connecting Europe Facilities program: ‘Europeana XX Century of Change.’ Representatives of 17 partner organisations from across Europe attended the meeting, hosted at the premises of the Project Coordinador Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum. During the sessions, participants had the opportunity to get to know each other, exchange ideas on the project activities and discuss the workflow and desired outcomes.

About the project

Europeana XX Century of Change is conceived as a thematic initiative to explore the major factors which led to social change in Europe during the 20th century, by examining the relation of society with the state, private lives of individuals and technological advances. 

By enriching Europeana with high-quality 20th-century content, the project aims to expand the range of 20th century content available on Europeana. Semantic enrichment and automated translation will also make the content more accessible and discoverable for all audiences. Editorials addressing a wide range of 20th century phenomena will be highlighted, showcasing compelling stories and unique heritage treasures in Europeana.

With this purpose, five experienced aggregators have joined forces for the project: EUscreen, European Film Gateway, Photoconsortium, Europeana Fashion and Judaica Europeana. Having provided more than 3.8 million records to Europeana so far, these aggregators and their networks of cultural heritage institutions represent Europeana’s largest sources of 20th century content. This project will add another 100,000 images and videos to Europeana.

Besides enriching Europeana’s online collections, Europeana XX intends to foster dialogue and reflection by organising four ‘subtitle-a-thons’ and four pop-up exhibitions. These activities will address the topic of societal change in various contexts and with different focal points. They will reach out to a diversified audience of cultural heritage institutions, educators and researchers in the creative industries, as well as every European citizen with an interest in history and culture. 

What’s next? 

A team of heritage professionals and experienced storytellers will prepare Europeana XX-themed content for publication on Furthermore, several on-site activities are set to take place in the next 18 months around different venues in European countries. Keep up to date on the project through Europeana Pro news and through the communication channels of the project’s partners.

If you're interested in finding out more about the project please email Project Coordinator Johan Oomen at