Three days of all things Tech
The conference kicked off with a day of hands-on workshops at the KB, National Library of the Netherlands. Participants discovered 3D scanning processes, visited a church to discover the potential of heritage acoustics, learned about the ResCarta Toolkit and IIIF, and enjoyed an introduction to AI image and text generators.
For days two and three of the conference, we moved to the colourful and inspiring Institute for Sound and Vision, where participants were able to follow the action in person and online.
Marco De Niet, Manager, Research & Education Services Division & Deputy Director, Leiden University Libraries, Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak, Head of the UnitInteractive technologies, Digital for Culture and Education, European Commission, and Youssef Louakili, Director of Media and Creative Industry at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, set the scene by welcoming participants for an exciting and innovative two days. The Twin it! Campaign was a point of particular excitement in the welcome speeches, with Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak announcing the launch of the new Twin it! Label, to encourage initiatives to show their support for 3D for cultural heritage.
Dr Mia Ridge, Digital Curator, The British Library, then gave the first keynote of the conference, ‘Enriching lives: connecting communities and culture through Machines.’ Her speech gave valuable insights into AI methods for research collections, crowdsourcing as a framework for productivity and entertainment and how we can make good choices about AI.
Inspired, participants headed off for a full afternoon of panel, online talks and in person sessions, before coming together at an evening reception at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
Day two saw Valentine Charles, Technical Director, Europeana Foundation, welcome attendees with a speech exploring the context of the common European data space for cultural heritage, and the new possibilities offered by AI and 3D technologies. Her talk was followed by our second keynote from Brian Katz, Research Director, CNRS, Sorbonne University, who took into the magical world of the acoustics history of Notre-Dame Cathedral, exploring the truly interdisciplinary nature of the discipline, and exciting projects which have brought it to the public.
Following another morning of sessions on topics from digital games to AI in the archives, we were delighted to welcome back data poet, Mr. Gee, who closed the conference with a new poem, ‘A multitude of tools’:
For a better understanding of the past,
Our images have to be enhanced,
A new dialogue in three dimensions,
Must have openness at its heart,
For somewhere within the archive
Of our aggregated minds
Are a multitude of questions
And a multitude of answers,
Simply awaiting to be found.
We are truly grateful to the more than 1,100 participants and 95 speakers, from 67 countries who ran, attended and took part in the 55 sessions and 6 workshops the conference offered.
Making new connections
This year we were able to again collaborate with our colleagues at the European Students Association for Cultural Heritage (ESACH) to offer five new professionals the opportunity to attend the conference in person through the Europeana-ESACH bursary. This, combined with the grants offered to Europeana Network Association Members made the presence of new professionals at our conference one of the strongest ever, something we hope to continue in our upcoming events!