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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday March 8, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Ariadna Matas

Ariadna Matas

Policy Advisor , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Hugo Manguinhas

Hugo Manguinhas

Head of Engineering , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Maša Škrinjar

Maša Škrinjar

Metadata Coordinator , Europeana Foundation

We’re listening: share your thoughts about improving cultural heritage data

The Europeana Foundation, together with partners, has been conducting activities to enrich digital cultural heritage collections through new human and machine-generated metadata, transcriptions, subtitles, and other types of enrichments. We are working to define a policy that sets a vision and brings consistency across enrichment efforts in the data space. Read on to find out more and discover how you can share your thoughts. 

Uncut gemstones
Geology: various uncut gemstones, and the substrate in which they are found. Coloured lithograph.
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

What do we mean by enrichments?

Enrichments are data about a cultural heritage object (i.e. metadata) or of the object itself (i.e. its content) that augment or rectify the authoritative data made available by cultural heritage institutions. Enrichments of metadata aim to improve the object by producing new statements (adding new or refining existing information) about it, while content enrichments aim to produce alternative representations of the object. Enriching cultural heritage data has been attracting interest and offers a lot of potential for digital cultural heritage.

Enrichments might include Object Character Recognition (OCR) of a book; the audio transcription of a speech; subtitles of a video; adding a new subject from a vocabulary to the object; correcting the name of an author; audio description of a painting; annotating a scientific article with background references; or adding collection-level metadata for an archival item.

Why do we need a policy?

As enrichments become more established and relevant in the common European data space for cultural heritage, we want to ensure that a clear purpose guides all of our enrichment efforts, while contributing to the objectives of the common European data space for cultural heritage and respecting the values we believe in. 

Developing a policy that touches upon many areas, from ingestion to reuse, ensures that any enrichment effort is designed with an understanding of the dependencies and priorities in other areas, and conceived and developed collaboratively by stakeholders. 

A policy can provide a set of principles that guide enrichment efforts across projects, organisations and activities in the ecosystem in and around the common European data space for cultural heritage and ensure harmonisation.

Your input is key

The policy should be developed collaboratively by consulting and bringing in the views, priorities and concerns of stakeholders and experts. 

To do that, we invite you to answer an initial overarching survey that will help us gather various ideas, plans and concerns in the area of enrichments and digital cultural heritage. 

We will compile and share the results and where necessary set up further conversations with relevant stakeholders. 

The deadline for survey responses was 27 March 2023. The survey is now closed - many thanks to those who participated!