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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday June 29, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Marco Rendina

Marco Rendina

Managing Director , European Fashion Heritage Association

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Shaping the role of the Europeana Aggregators' Forum within the Europeana Initiative

At its meeting in May 2020, the Europeana Aggregators' Forum approved various changes to its governance structure, agreed to set up its own task forces and working groups, and welcomed a closer alignment with the Europeana Network Association.

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Zeepfabriek Dobbelman: Inpakmachine voor toiletzeep.
Regionaal Archief Nijmegen

Thanks to a network of national, thematic and domain aggregators, Europeana enables thousands of cultural heritage institutions to share their content and open it up to new audiences. The Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF) coordinates  the operational and strategic activities required for the effective functioning of this pan-European, cross-domain aggregation ecosystem. Explore some of the changes and initiatives the EAF recently agreed, below. 

The original structure 

At the EAF meeting in Berlin in 2018, members agreed a light governance model for the EAF and elected Marco Rendina and Sara Di Giorgio as chair and vice-chair, with Henning Scholz the Europeana Foundation representative in charge of the EAF Secretariat. This model facilitated the successful organisation of EAF activities in its initial stages and collaboration between Europeana aggregators. 

However, over the past few months the EAF Steering Group has decided to revise the original EAF governance structure to strengthen and formalise its role, and to allow aggregators to establish initiatives that specifically address their needs. 

Role within the Europeana Initiative 

Since the beginning of 2020, the Europeana Initiative has aimed to align the objectives and activities of the EAF with those of the Europeana Foundation and the Europeana Network Association (ENA). Collaborating more closely, these three interlinked expert organisations can make strategic decisions to achieve common goals and work together towards the overall strengthening of the Europeana Initiative. This includes aligning Europeana’s activities in projects, communities, task forces, and standardising procedures for training across the organisation.

Changes to the Steering Group

In order to start moving toward these goals, at its meeting in May 2020, the EAF Steering Group proposed various changes to the governance of the EAF and how it works with the ENA. It also approved the EAF 2020 Activity Plan, which was presented to the Forum. 

The Forum approved having a third aggregator representative in the Steering Group and elected Kerstin Herlt from Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum to fill this role. Furthermore, the EAF approved aligning the duration of the electoral term for EAF Steering Group members with that used by the ENA, increasing it from two to three years, and allowing the members to run for a maximum of two terms.

Closer alignment with the ENA

To better align EAF and ENA activities, and facilitate communication between the EAF and the ENA Management Board and Members Council, the Network and Policy Officer in charge of the ENA Secretariat, Zuzana Malicherova, joined the EAF Secretariat. The EAF Secretariat will ensure the closer coordination and collaboration of EAF and ENA activities, based on their common interests. This collaboration will be  reflected in the work of the communities, task forces, and working groups, as well as EAF and ENA communications efforts.

EAF Task Forces and Working Groups

The Forum also approved setting up a number of task forces and working groups that will function under the EAF. The first EAF working group on IIIF adoption, training, and translation of resources began in May in collaboration with the ENA. Further EAF task force activities starting in 2020 aim to focus on advocacy efforts, and developing and formalising the ‘train the trainer’ concept to establish efficiently structured training workshops. 

Find out more 

To share more information about the EAF, we are introducing a dedicated section of news for aggregators to our monthly network newsletter - ENA members can look out for this in their next update! 

If you are not yet an ENA member and would like to receive this newsletter, you can sign up today - it is free and simple to join, offers many benefits. Also keep an eye on Europeana Pro news for future posts!