May 25, 2022

New White Paper: “The Europeana Data Model: A Living Model 5 Years On”

From a Europeana Pro Blog:

Five years ago, Europeana’s very first White Paper, by Prof. Stefan Gradmann, discussed the idea of Europeana as a knowledge graph, formed with metadata on cultural objects augmented with a so-called “semantic layer”. The aim then was to position Europeana and its data partners as a source of contextual knowledge that everyone could exploit to access digitised European heritage. To achieve this, the white paper advocated the design of an advanced data model, re-using existing pieces of web technology.

Europeana has since grown to a collection of over 40 million objects. The richness of its data can still be improved, as raised in recent discussions. However, these reports also show that our Network is increasingly capable of identifying and tackling these issues. Over the last five years we have progressed considerably, and Europeana is already reaping some of the promised benefits of semantic web and linked data technologies.

First and foremost, the Europeana Data Model (EDM) has become a reality we can work with, together with our data partners and data re-users. Today, we’re publishing a new White Paper that outlines the recent progress we have made with our model.


EDM has also been extended to meet the data needs of specific domain aggregators, like Europeana Sounds, and address the requirements of new data services and enrichment in Europeana’s main platform. EDM is now used by Europeana and several other cultural aggregators, such as DPLA and DDB.

Direct to Full Text White Paper (pages; PDF)
The White Paper was written by Valentine Charles and Antoine Isaac from the Europeana Foundation.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.