Thank you from Harry Verwayen on Europeana's tenth anniversary
The first Europeana website went live ten years ago - on 20 November 2008. Today, in a special video, Harry Verwayen, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation, says thank you to everyone who is or has been involved in the journey so far.
10 years ago, on November 20 2008, the first Europeana website went live.
We support museums, libraries, archives in making their collections available on the web in open and standardised formats. We are obsessed by that.
Why? This creates building blocks that can be reused anywhere: You might find a set of stunning Art Nouveau drawings to use as a background for your presentation. Or designers can find source material for new works - whether that’s a video game, a remix film, a T-shirt, you name it. Teachers can find unique course material on the first world war for their class. And researchers can find new patterns that change their views on any aspect of history or science.
What's really important is this. It's the people behind it. A lot of hard work from thousands of people - the tireless guardians of our heritage who operate the museums, galleries and archives across Europe.
We’re doing this together. And that’s why I’m here today - I want to say thank you.
Our cultural heritage, even the small and seemingly insignificant, just deserves to be preserved and find its audiences. That it is as essential to us as roads to travel on and water running from the tap.
It’s been a roller coaster experience. And I think what happens next is going to be challenging as well. There’s so much still to do.
We'll need to focus more. First of all on making it easier for institutions to share their collections with us.
We also will need to develop standards for emerging formats like 3D and harness technologies that we are only just starting to get a glimpse of - machine learning, artificial intelligence, those types of things.
We need to put ourselves right at the heart of the global movement for open culture.
There is a sense of urgency about all this: culture is one of the key drivers for the social and economic regeneration of Europe. I'm convinced of that.
It already contributes massively to the economy in the form of cultural tourism, creative industries. And it also has the potential to impact the way we think and feel about ourselves.
But right, that’s for tomorrow. Today, we celebrate ten years of teamwork. Ten years of transforming the world with culture, together.