Rise of Literacy

This project explored the history of the written text in Europe, and aimed to showcase related cultural treasures on the Europeana collections website.  

Posted on Thursday September 14, 2017

Updated on Tuesday February 23, 2021

1 September 2017 to 28 February 2019
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main image
Jean de Meun writing in his study
Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun
c. 1380
The British Library
United Kingdom

Rise of Literacy looked at the use of written text in Europe from the sixth to the twentieth century to record history, disseminate information and maintain cultural knowledge. In particular, the project delivered more than 31,000 new digitised items from manuscripts, books, newspapers and other printed materials, resulting in two collections on Europeana: Europeana Newspapers and Europeana Manuscripts

Additionally, the project curated over 70 editorial outputs to encourage Europeana audiences to discover Europe’s written history. A highlight of these editorials was the exhibition ‘The Rise of Literacy in Europe’ which follows a chronological narrative of reading in Europe, from early demands to establish a formal education through structured learning practices, to reading and writing with the help of alphabet books and catechisms.

This project was a Europeana Generic Services project and it was co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.

Project partners:

  1. Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica (project coordinator)

  2. Europeana Foundation

  3. Ethniki Bibliothiki Ellados

  4. Koninklijke Bibliotheek

  5. Narodna biblioteka Srbije -ustanova kulture od nacionalnog značaja

  6. Bibliothèque nationale de France

  7. National Library of Scotland

  8. Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka

  9. Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

  10. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin -Preußischer Kulturbesitz

  11. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Opera del Vocabolario Italiano

  12. Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle biblioteche italiane e per le informazioni bibliografiche

  13. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales