2 minutes to read Posted on Monday March 28, 2022

Updated on Friday April 8, 2022

portrait of Mirjam Verloop

Mirjam Verloop

Senior Front-End Developer , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Dasha Moskalenko

Dasha Moskalenko

Manager Service Experience , Europeana Foundation

What’s new on the Europeana website? January - March 2022

We are constantly working to improve the Europeana website and add new features which allow people to explore Europe’s cultural heritage. This second post of the quarterly series highlights some recently released features.

Four icons showing the Europeana logo and stars, a sheet of paper and rectangular shapes inside magnifying glasses
Title:
What's New on Europeana? 3 themes
Creator:
Europeana Foundation
Date:
March 2022
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
The Netherlands

Improved search filters

The Europeana website offers access to 51 million cultural heritage items. A popular way to explore them is to use the site’s search and filter options. In the last quarter, we revamped the filters, making it easier for people to refine the search results. 

Positioning 

First of all, we changed the position of the filters on the search results page to appear on the right-hand side instead of above the search results. We also stacked the filters on top of each other so they’re always visible instead of hiding them behind the ‘more filters’ button, saving people the extra click. We also save people waiting time by applying the filters and returning the search results directly - no need to click ‘Apply’.   

Item quality

On the collection pages, we introduced a new ‘Item quality’ filter which corresponds to the tier classification making it easier for people to filter by content quality and licence (for more on these tiers, see the Europeana Publishing Framework). So, for example, if you are looking for images of daffodils to share on social media, you might enter ‘daffodil’ in the search bar and get several results. To narrow them down, select ‘Natural History’ in the ‘Theme’ filter and then select ‘Image’ in the ‘Type of media’ filter - the page will immediately update to show only images of daffodils. Then try using the ’Item quality’ filter to refine the results to display only high-quality freely reusable (tier 4) images of daffodils. 

Auto-suggest

In the next iteration, we will introduce an auto-suggest feature to the filters to help people find the values they want. This is handy for filters with a long list of values, such as  ‘Institution,’ especially as only the first 50 values in a list can be shown. 

Newspaper date filter

If you’re looking for newspapers, you might have noticed the useful ‘Date issued’ filter. We will shortly be making changes to this filter to make it easier to see the dates for which newspapers are available. 


Updated search result views

You can see results on Europeana in either a grid view or a list view. We’re pleased to say there’s now a third option - mosaic view.  Here’s what they do:

  • The grid view shows a medium-sized thumbnail image and basic metadata information such as the item title and providing institution, making it suitable for discovering all sorts of items from across our collection no matter the media type or item quality. 
  • The list view shows the most information about the item itself, the basic metadata information, including the copyright statement and the type of media, but the media thumbnail is small. So, this view is most useful for exploring text or audio items for which the item metadata is more important to its discoverability than the media. 
  • The mosaic view is the most visual. It shows a medium-sized thumbnail without any metadata information, making this view most suited for finding images and videos. This is useful for people  selecting an item based on its media instead of its metadata information. 

All views allow people to save and like items directly in the search results. The different views offer people the option to browse and search the collections in their preferred way. For example, someone looking for images to use in a school project might prefer the mosaic view. Someone else looking for ‘public domain objects’ might choose the list view. 

A search page with the filters on the right-hand side, showing the items in the mosaic view.
Title:
Europeana search filters
Creator:
Europeana Foundation
Date:
March 2022
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
The Netherlands
A search page with the filters on the right-hand side, showing the items in the mosaic view.

A warning for sensitive content

We occasionally create editorial content that links to items with a sensitive nature that we want to warn people about before they view them. These items use imagery or language that can be considered offensive. To notify people when this may be the case, we introduced a content warning that editors can include —giving people the choice to proceed with viewing the editorial.

Jolan Wuyts, Collections Editor at Europeana, explains why this message is essential: 

’We want to create editorial stories that show the diversity and breadth of digitised cultural heritage. However, we find that items around specific topics are steeped in colonial, imperialist, racist or otherwise offensive historical practice. For example, while creating a gallery that explores how Black People have been depicted in European Art, we found it challenging to find items that haven't been described using racist terms, othering or orientalising language. So we decided that it was essential to bring this issue to light to fuel conversations about decolonising the metadata information describing cultural heritage items. At the same time, we want to make sure we don't offend anyone who views our editorial. Therefore, we find it important to have and use tools like the content warning to provide important context to those reading our editorial stories.’

For example, our editorial story about Sign Language - giving voice to the voiceless celebrates the history of sign languages. Unfortunately, some items highlighted in this story use derogatory words to refer to members of the Deaf community. People visiting this story will see the content warning explaining the issue and can continue reading or leave the page.

The content warning appears on one of our editorial stories.
Title:
Europeana content warning
Creator:
Europeana Foundation
Date:
March 2022
Institution:
Europeana Foundation
Country:
The Netherlands
The content warning appears on one of our editorial stories.

This quarter in numbers

From 1 January to 20 March 2022, the Europeana website recorded just over 1.4 million visits, around 3.1 million page views, and about 2.3 million unique page views. In addition, we recorded almost 189,000 unique item downloads. 

The three most-liked items this quarter were an illustration of the Greek Alphabet (provided by Ίδρυμα Αικατερίνης Λασκαρίδη, which in English is the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation), Die Hochzeitstänzer: Tanzendes Paar (provided by Albertina) and a Woodblock print (provided by Victoria and Albert Museum).

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