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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday March 15, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Laura Schotte

Laura Schotte

Outreach and Communications Coordinator , Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision

Ready, set, go: enriching and promoting crafts with the CRAFTED project

CRAFTED - a Europeana Generic Services project - aims to support the transfer of European crafts to future generations by aggregating, enriching and promoting tangible crafts heritage. Six months into the project, we hear what it has achieved and its future plans!

Someone seen from behind using a sewing machine
Textima Shomakers sewing machine
March 19 2015
Sounds of Changes

Shaping the project

In recent months, CRAFTED project partners have been developing a Curational and Public Engagement Plan to inspire a wide variety of audiences to (re)discover the creative potential of crafts heritage and enable artisans to pass on their knowledge to others. The plan maps out the path to making the wealth of materials that will be aggregated and enriched throughout the project available online. Online access across the themes of Fashion and Textiles, Analogue Media and Re-use of Traditional Crafts will offer a unique resource to better understand, preserve and reuse the rich tangible and intangible heritage of European crafts. Expect a wide variety of blogs, galleries, videos, and exhibitions to be published on the Europeana website in the coming months!

In addition to our editorial plan, we are delighted that the CRAFTED project has a newly developed visual identity, created by Carlos Marcelino from the Europeana Foundation. The identity highlights the effect that artisanship and craft heritage have on the fabric of societies and cultures. The logo focuses on the common threads between tangible and intangible heritage: the fluid lines of hand-made objects, such as jewellery, textiles and garments, reflects the shape of the CRAFTED 'C', that while irregular, converge to the same point, moving forward.

Data enrichment

In parallel to the ongoing curatorial work and aggregation of 186,000 newly documented images, videos and 3D content for our galleries, blogs and exhibitions, the automatic enrichment workflow that the project will follow is being prepared. This workflow includes testing and validating a methodology and developing an accompanying set of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for the optimisation of automatic enrichment of large amounts of cultural heritage metadata. The technical partners are working closely with content providers and aggregators to inspect the characteristics of the available metadata to define the desired enrichment use cases and derive the technical requirements that the AI tools to be deployed have to meet.

Although the data inspection process is in an early stage, some technical challenges are already being taken into consideration. The semantic analysis needs to support metadata from different languages and to identify a variety of domain-specific terms (such as material, techniques, types of objects), while at the same time linking to broader large Linked Open Datasets such as Wikidata or Geonames. Similarly, the content analysis tools will have to serve a number of diverse scenarios, from image tagging and colour detection to optical character recognition and speech to text extraction. The complexity of the resulting landscape makes it evident that there is a great need for systematisation and combination of different techniques. The first version of the AI tools is expected to be ready by the summer of 2022. 

Showcasing the (un)expected

The galleries, blogs and exhibitions that are to be rolled out over the course of the project will cover the expected, but also the less obvious topics from the three editorial themes (Fashion and Textiles, Analogue Media and Re-use of Traditional Crafts) covering everything from a behind the scenes look at Dutch television studios to an assortment of beautifully painted easter eggs. Whatever your preference or professional field, there will be an editorial that inspires. The first CRAFTED blog highlights our love for crafts: Lace, a Labour of Love explores the history and influence of lacecraft throughout the ages. If you can't get enough of lace, you can also peruse two related galleries: showcases of Bobbin Lace and Needle Lace.

Flounce border of bobbin lace in linen and silver threads
Flounce border of bobbin lace in linen and silver threads, Northern Italy late 17th century.
Victoria and Albert Museum
United Kingdom
Flounce border of bobbin lace in linen and silver threads

Find out more and get involved 

All CRAFTED galleries, blogs and exhibitions will be collected on the newly launched feature page, Making Culture. In 2023 the 186,000 new high-quality records, upgraded 26,000 records and all their related contents will be open and accessible via this dedicated page. Only six months into the project, Making Culture already showcases a wealth of stories about craft culture including bookbinding, the knowledge on traditional beer brewing, the skill of embroidery and more. Explore the page.

The general public and professionals in the field of crafts will have the chance to contribute to the crafted community by helping edit Wikipedia pages related to craft heritage in our edit-a-thons, which will occur later this year and in 2023. Keep an eye on the CRAFTED project page and the Europeana Pro event page to find out more.