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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday August 23, 2017

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

Meet the members Council: Jef Malliet

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Hello, I am Jef Malliet. You might already know me: I followed the Europeana CCPA/Network since its inception in 2009, and was elected in the Council of the Network Association when it was created in 2014. I worked for about 20 years at ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property). Since 2002, I have been working on the development and maintenance of a cultural heritage database for the province of Limburg in Belgium, For almost ten years, we have been involved with and closely following the development of Europeana, especially through participation in projects that emphasize the contribution of local heritage: EuropeanaLocal, Europeana Awareness, Europeana Inside and LoCloud. Thanks to your support in my re-election as a Councillor last November, I will continue the work started in the previous years and keep being involved in the Governance Working Group, the Data Quality Committee and the Aggregators Forum.

Consolidating the Network Association
The Network Association was created at the end of 2014, and is slowly growing up. We made good progress trying to understand the mechanisms forworking successfully with the Network. But still, many loose ends remain. And Europeana itself is continuously evolving: it has to adapt to new forms or requirements for financing, to a constantly changing aggregation environment, technical as well as organizational. The validity of the concept of the Association needs to be constantly monitored and consolidated in the statutes and bylaws. This work will continue to be necessary always and will be done in the Governance committee of the Council.

The assembly of the order of the gold fleece (didactic print for history lessons). Image: from, CC BY SA

The back office of governance

To help the Council and the Governance Committee understand how to make the participation from Association members more efficient and meaningful, we created a dedicated Task Force on the Participation Framework. By the end of 2017, it will present several suggestions for improvement. The transition from a project-based model for financing and managing Europeana to a sustainable Network model with the Foundation and Association as main pillars still needs better understanding and continuous adaptations. The Aggregators Forum is where much of this work takes place.

This all seems quite tedious stuff, as compared with making a nice website, collecting interesting data about cultural heritage, encouraging creative people to reuse these resources to create exciting or attractive projects. But these fun initiatives wouldn’t be possible without a good operational system in support of enthusiastic participation, which is what we want to build in the Association.

These are the key topics I want to concentrate on during my new term as Council Member. But the issues I stressed in earlier contributions certainly remain among the most important concerns for Europeana to continue its evolution. It includes the emphasis on the process (rather than on the product) for aggregating digital heritage data; on the proper recognition of human effort (rather than the technical infrastructure) as a condition for quality; and the participation of local heritage collections, rather than the well known masterpieces.

These are the issues that will keep driving my participation in Europeana. How about you?