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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday April 17, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Hannah Baker Hitzhusen

Hannah Baker Hitzhusen

User Engagement Director , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Alba Irollo

Alba Irollo

Research Coordinator , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Sally Chambers

Sally Chambers

Director , DARIAH

What is a dataset? Share your thoughts!

With the Europeana Initiative at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage, Europeana Research asks: what is a dataset to you? Find out why and how you can share your thoughts! 

Two rows of different curved patterns
Classification system of patterns, Henry Faulds, 1905
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

New opportunities for cultural heritage and academia

Through the work of Europeana Research, the Europeana Initiative connects the cultural heritage sector with academia, supporting heritage professionals to work with those who are interested in digital cultural heritage for university teaching and learning or research. In the context of the common European data space for cultural heritage, we see new opportunities to further develop our offer for academic and research communities. 

One particular opportunity can be found in datasets created from cultural heritage data by cultural heritage institutions and users. While we are already working together with DARIAH (Digital Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities), one of our data space consortium partners, to facilitate dataset-level access and reuse, we recognise not all users have the same needs. 

Therefore, we would like to consult those who already reuse cultural heritage data through digital methods and tools about their experiences, starting with a simple question: what is a dataset to you? 

What is a dataset to you? What to consider

Think about a recent scenario where you needed to use cultural heritage data. Ask yourself: 

  • What sort of data structure did you prefer? 

  • What sort of information did you need or want about the dataset?  

  • What kinds of digital cultural heritage objects were part of your dataset?

  • Who created the dataset (you or someone else, e.g. a cultural heritage institution)? 

  • How large was the dataset? How typical is this for datasets that you have used in the past? How large do you imagine you could ever need them to be? 

  • When you were using that dataset, what made your research or teaching activities easier? 

  • What, if any, obstacle did you encounter in trying to reuse that dataset? 

Share your views 

Whether you are a staff member teaching at a university, a researcher, a university student, or a cultural heritage domain expert supporting research or educational use of digital cultural heritage, we want to hear from you! 

Please share your answers to the questions above, and specify in what context you use datasets (for example, your academic field, your research interests, or your university teaching activities). And, of course, tell us if you have already used Europeana data!

Please share your experience in up to 250 words by Tuesday 12 May 2023 by emailing
UPDATE: This deadline has now been extended to Friday 30 June 2023