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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday October 18, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Alexandru Stan

Alexandru Stan

Innovation Manager , IN2 Digital Innovations GmbH

The WEAVE project: linking the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural communities

The WEAVE project worked to safeguard the rich and invaluable heritage of cultural communities, and build new connections between those communities and Europeana. Explore what the project achieved and use the resources it developed.

A crowd of people with outstretched arms, which others are climbing onto
Fires i Festes de Sant Narcís 2014
Girona City Council

WEAVE (Widen European access to cultural communities via Europeana) was a Europeana Generic Services project co-funded by the European Commission through the CEF Telecom programme. Starting in April 2020 and running until September 2022, the project developed a framework to link the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural communities. 

WEAVE focused on three main areas, including building capacity in cultural heritage professionals to work with minoritised communities, and support them in preserving and presenting their intangible heritage; aggregating new high-quality content into Europeana, including 3D content and content representing intangible heritage; and providing an innovative set of tools that allow professionals to better manage 3D content, annotate videos, automatically enrich content and create digital stories.

Representing communities with new content and editorials

The WEAVE project saw new tangible and intangible cultural heritage content digitised and aggregated to Europeana, including built heritage, artworks, posters, historical photographs and representation of traditional practices from different communities. Content includes images,videos, audio files and a selection of 3D content that comprises existing models of Slovenian castles, which were digitised by partner ARCTUR. The project also aggregated reproductions of fragile daguerreotypes, specifically digitised in the context of WEAVE by partner CRDI, at top quality and published with open access.

The digitisation was performed with photogrammetry to obtain 3D reproductions of the daguerreotypes. This process posed a number of challenges to achieve the best visual results for the digitised objects. From this experience, a case study was written to share the knowledge and solutions developed in WEAVE with other institutions, to support capacity building around 3D digitisation of cultural heritage. Explore all the collections here.

This new content shared with Europeana has been showcased in inspiring new editorials on the Europeana website, such as the exhibition The Renaissance of Romani Re-presentation, which explores the histories of Roma communities and highlights their contemporary artistic expressions. This unique exhibition was authored by Dr Adrian R Marsh, a professor of Romani Studies, himself of Welsh Gypsy origins, and increases the self-representation in Europeana editorial from underrepresented voices and communities. A corresponding Pro news piece was published alongside the exhibition, which further reflected on the vulnerability of the Roma community in the cultural heritage sector as well as the value for them of working with Europeana to amplify their voices.

A screenshot of a castle digitised in 3D

The WEAVE Toolkit

The WEAVE project developed a set of open and reusable tools for the management, annotation and showcasing of digitised content from different cultural communities. All tools are web-based, and accessible to professionals on most devices. These tools are brought together into a toolkit which consists of: 

  • 3DWeaver: a tool for uploading and managing high-quality 3D content, with a 3D viewer that can efficiently display high-quality models and carry out measurements. The published 3D models in the 3DWeaver can be embedded into other web pages using the viewer.

  • WEAVEx: a tool for managing content (from Europeana or uploaded directly by the user) and documenting cultural communities’ heritage through digital community spaces, stories and experiences. With WEAVEx, anyone can create blogs or galleries that can include Europeana content and embed them  into any website or application. 

  • MotionNotes: a real-time multimodal video annotator created under the CEF Telecom project, CultureMoves. The tool is based on keyboard, touch and voice input, and is designed to assist the creative and exploratory processes as well as support the capture of multimodal annotations while, and after, recording video. During the WEAVE project, the tool was extended with 3D annotations and human pose estimation techniques. 

  • Metadata enrichment tools: these can be used to semantically enrich content metadata in order to improve indexing, searchability and contribute to its transformation to linked open data.

Capacity building and events

The project carried out several activities that helped to connect cultural heritage institutions, minoritised cultural communities and Europeana. Together, these groups explored new approaches to preserving and documenting intangible cultural heritage, and options for making these approaches more inclusive. 

The LabDay methodology of Coventry University was used to organise 22 events on various topics such as 3D heritage, representation of minoritised communities and more. To support their long-term impact, WEAVE created video recordings, methodologies, resources and lessons learned, and a Diversity and Inclusion workbook that can be used by professionals in the cultural sector. The capacity building activities culminated with a closing conference organised in hybrid format in Girona. 

A pioneering project for diversity and inclusion within the Europeana ecosystem 

The WEAVE project was pioneering in many aspects, but in particular, in that it served as an example for future Europeana projects as it centered marginalised or/and local communities in all project activities. The WEAVE consortium actively engaged with Europeana Foundation’s Diversity and Inclusion cross-team to create unique capacity building events, which helped participants to better understand the point of view of minoritised communities. WEAVE also actively contributed to the reflection on, and analysis of, metadata curation in the light of communities’ representation in digital heritage collections via the participation of project partner Photoconsortium in the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. 

The efforts made in the development of the capacity building workshops and sessions, as well as editorials presented and commissioned by WEAVE with underrepresented communities, will be used as reference for future work by Europeana Foundation.

Find out more

More information about the project, its consortium, as well as links to all resources and recordings from the events organised are available on the project website maintained by IN2 Digital Innovations and Photoconsortium

This page was edited on 25/11/22 to add a short paragraph about the WEAVE 3D case study.