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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday April 8, 2013

Local content in a Europeana cloud: LoCloud project launch in Oslo

Cloud technology is a hot topic. We recently blogged about the launch of Europeana Cloud. Today, Sarah McSeveny-Aril from Arts Council Norway, tells us about another cloud-based project launched recently - LoCloud.

The launch of the LoCloud project took place at the National Archives of Norway in March. 32 partners from 28 different countries gathered on a Tuesday morning at the venue in the snow-covered forest on the outskirts of Oslo to discuss the project's main goals: the development and strengthening of local institutions through cloud-based technology. Norway is one of the countries represented in this project with both the National Archives of Norway taking the leading role as project coordinator, and the Norwegian consultancy company Avinet as one of the technical partners in the project.

The National Archives of Norway - the snowy venue for the LoCloud launch

Content from smaller local institutions such as archives and libraries is still sorely underrepresented in the digital European arena. This important content needs to be made accessible and the current trend toward cloud-based technology could prove the solution to increasing the availability of local historical data. The LoCloud project aims to develop new cloud-based models and instruments that will offer smaller institutions user-friendly and affordable tools that can be used in the digitisation and aggregation of their data. The project will explore the possibility of a cloud-based infrastructure for aggregating local content. It will also look into developing a number of micro-services, which will be able to offer geolocation enrichment, metadata enrichment, multilingual vocabularies for local history and archaeology, a historical place name gazetteer and a Wikimedia application to handling relevant ‘crowd-sourced’ content.

The LoCloud launch in full swing

The project plans to add over 4 million new items to Europeana, and the hope is that these cloud-based services will help ensure that local content can be more easily aggregated while also increasing its searchability and interoperability. LoCloud aims to build on the achievements of CARARE in establishing a repository-based aggregator for archaeological and architectural heritage and of Europeana Local in its work with local institutions and their regional and national aggregators, which resulted in the contribution to date of well over 5 million items to Europeana.

It was clear from the kick-off that this project has a strong group of partners eager to take on the ambitious task ahead of them. As project coordinator Gunnar Urtegaard from Riksarkivet underlined during the meeting's close: 'If we can keep it simple for content providers, keep it simple for users and remove all the complexity in-between, then this project has the potential to be a great success.'

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