Happy Birthday to Our Friends at Europeana.
This November, Europeana – Europe’s digital library, archive and museum – celebrates two significant milestones – its fifth birthday and the arrival of its 30 millionth cultural object, [our emphasis] two years ahead of the 2015 target.
Today Europeana brings together the online collections of 2,300 galleries, libraries, museums and archives from across Europe, through both its website and an API. This means that anyone anywhere from members of the public to those working in the creative industries can explore Europe’s cultural heritage and build their own services, apps or games with it.
And it isn’t just about historical documents and old masters – the 30 millionth item to be available via Europeana is a delightful animation that won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2012. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books that return the favour.
Over the past five years, Europeana has become a driving force in the world of digital cultural heritage.
The Europeana model was adopted by the Digital Public Library of America, and the organisation has become a global leader in areas such as open access. In 2012, Europeana created a watershed moment in open access when it released its entire dataset, 20 million items at the time, under a CC0 dedication, making all of its metadata freely available for use by all and reinforcing the importance of public domain for creativity.