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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday April 20, 2017

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

470,000 images from Europeana join the new Creative Commons Search database

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A tool for discovery, collaboration and re-use, CC Search enables users to search a variety of open repositories through a single interface to find content in the commons. Developed by Creative Commons, the current CC Search tool is used by nearly 600,000 people every month. The new beta version of the project, which was released in early February, includes simple, one-click attribution making it easier to credit the source of any image. CC Search beta also provides social features, allowing users to create, share and save lists as well as adding tags and favorites to the objects in the commons.

The beta version of CC Search has recently integrated 470,00 images from Europeana into its database, which already incorporates artworks provided by cultural institutions and repositories from across the globe. This variety of content includes February’s landmark release from Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as large collections of freely licensed images from 500px, Flickr, Rijksmuseum, and New York Public Library. Europeana’s new addition brings the number of searchable objects on CC Search up to 10,022,832, making Europeana its second main provider, and allowing the discovery of major works by masters of European art as well as photographs, prints, drawings, and more. More openly licensed material from Europeana will be added as CC Search continues to grow.

A screenshot of CC Search beta’s engine.

In this initial phase, CC Search beta focuses on images as its first media, and uses open APIs (including the Europeana API) to index the available works. Search filters allow users to search by license type, title, creator, tags, collection, and type of institution. The tool aims to provide a ‘front door to the commons,’ bringing together a multitude of collections to inspire creativity and collaboration on the web.

Below is an example of Europeana content discovery through CC Search beta: a search for a common term such as “Paris” would suggest more than 500 results - including this portrait of Paris in the 20th century, accessed via Europeana, and open for re-use. These records can all be used for commercial purposes, and are also open for modifications, adaption, or to be built upon.

Skioptikonbild med motiv från Paris. Bilden har förvarats i kartong märkt. Tekniska Museet. Public Domain Marked.

Try out the new CC Search beta and help us improve it by providing your feedback in the Github repository. The end goal is to make commons material more attractive and usable, and Europeana is pleased to join Creative Commons’ next step towards this achievement.