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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday December 12, 2018

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

Your top 10 ‘wow’ moments from a decade of transforming the world with culture

Back in September, we asked Europeana Network Association members to share their favourite moments - whether that was a collection, idea, conversation or event - from the first 10 years of Europeana. Those moments were shortlisted and as part of the Europeana tenth anniversary celebrations, 10 were presented at the AGM in Vienna last week.

Killian Downing, National Archives of Ireland, presents his 'Wow' moment.
Killian Downing, National Archives of Ireland, presents his 'Wow' moment.
Europeana Foundation
December 2018
Europeana Foundation
The Netherlands

The stage was filled with wonderful, exciting, impressive and funny stories, each of which reminded us of how the existence of Europeana has affected the lives of so many people.

And here they are, in no particular order...

1. Killian Downing, National Archives of Ireland, nominated a fascinating story about Thomas McGarry, a fireman on the HMS Laurentic who died when it sank. Sharing the story on Europeana 1914-1918 brought new aspects of the story to light, demonstrating the importance of sharing and discovering archives online.

2. Cristina Roiu, The Romanian Academy Library, presented the Europeana 1989 Bucharest campaign, describing it as ‘a necessary remembering and a cross-generational dialogue’. In December 1989, Cristina’s childhood friend Andra was shot in the head and military tanks crushed her body. Europeana 1989 enabled Cristina to tell her story and gave the young digitisation team the opportunity to learn about the events of December 1989.

3. Paul Keller, Kennisland, talked about the moment on 12 September 2012 when all Europeana metadata (20m items at the time) was released under a Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. At the time, this was the largest one-time dedication of cultural data to the public domain using CC0. Paul chose this moment 'Because of all the hard work that went into it, because we achieved something that few considered realistic and because this positioned Europeana as a standards bearer in the open data world.'

4. Larissa Borck, University of Hamburg, celebrated finding European heritage in her everyday surroundings. She spoke about the personal connection that she felt to cultural content, and how Europeana facilitated her access to it where there was none before, so she could reuse and be surrounded by her most cherished artworks in her everyday life.

5. Marco de Niet, Leiden University Library, relived the moment when everybody said ‘Yes!’ to central indexing of collection metadata and the European Digital Library project began in September 2007.

6. Jurga Gradauskaitė, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, described a project that used teamwork, workshops, smartphones and a labelling app to teach arts and music students about applying rights statements to Lithuanian heritage.

7. Joke van der Leeuw-Roord, EUROCLIO, and Merete Sanderhoff, Statens Museum for Kunst, took us back to Friday 30 October 2014 and talked us through from the creation of the Europeana Network Association and its Members Councils over the years, to its position today with 89 candidates up for 28 places and a membership of 2,100+.

8. Stephan Bartholmei, German Digital Library, talked about a chain of events that began with the creation of Europeana and ended with Stephan stepping off a train to see a news teaser on Apple CEO Tim Cook's visit to Germany displayed on big screens in Frankfurt station. In the photo, Tim Cook and app developer Peter Kolski were using an augmented reality smartphone app to show historic pictures, video and audio of the Berlin Wall.

9. Sara Di Giorgio, CulturaItalia, discussed ‘Houston, we have lift off!’ - the moment when the content the Israel Museum of Jerusalem provided to ATHENA (the largest Europeana aggregator at the time) finally appeared in Europeana after months of work, in November 2010.

10. Georgia Angelaki, National Documentation Centre, Greece, relived the launch (and crash) of the first Europeana website in November 2008 and revealed what led to a press headline calling it ‘Europe’s sexiest search engine’.

What’s your Europeana ‘Wow’ moment? Share on Twitter with #europeana10.

For more information, view the slides below.