About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 9091 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0793

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

EUROPEANA THEMATIC COLLECTIONS AND EDUCATION: ALLIANCES FOR OPEN CONTENT

S. Taes1, F. Truyen2

1KU Leuven - Cultural Studies Digital (BELGIUM)
2KU Leuven (BELGIUM)
Europeana, Europe’s portal to Cultural Heritage, now holds more than 50 million objects provided by thousands of Cultural Heritage institutions in Europe. Unlike Google, Europeana provides data and metadata straight from the source, contributed by professionals from museums, archives and libraries across the continent. And all this in a multitude of languages.

In its latest strategic plans, the Europeana Foundation has stressed the importance of making these collections more accessible and eligible for reuse. To this effect, a massive effort has been made towards the improvement of metadata quality through review and enrichment, both on the provider’s and on Europeana’s side. Furthermore, the quality of the image previews and thumbnails has been increased by raising awareness with the providers and actively pursuing the implementation of the Europeana Publishing Framework. To further stimulate reuse by developers and researchers, Europeana Labs provided a set of API’s and tools allowing for direct access to the material.

In this paper, however, we want to focus on the specific actions undertaken to facilitate access towards the broader community of end users - and educators and teachers in particular. To this end, the portal functionality has been tremendously improved. The key to this transformation has been the establishment of “Thematic Collections”, providing access to specific curated sub-collections. A specific search box allows for free searches and browsing sprees, while a plethora of curated features - such as virtual exhibitions, galleries, blogs, browse entry points, the “Pic of the Month” - guide users through the rich contents of Europeana more intently. Currently, thematic collections on Art, Fashion, Maps & Geography, Music, Natural History, Sport, 1914-1918 and Photography are available.

As representatives of PHOTOCONSORTIUM – the organization that co-curates the thematic collection on photography with Europeana – we will focus on the latter. Containing more than 2.3 million high quality images (at least 800px wide on the large side), the online platform devoted to this collection features a virtual exhibition series on “The Pleasure of Plenty”, of which the first instalment - “Industrial Photography in the Machine Age” – was launched on May 20th of this year. Several galleries have been published as well, zooming in on photographers such as Wilhelm Weimar and Heinrich Hamann and topics such as “the Magic Lantern” and “Healthy mind, healthy body”. Browse entry points are devoted to persons and techniques/processes and currently include “Karl Heinrich Lämmel” and “Cyanotypes”. Thus the platform not only stands for security, authority and quality, but for diversity and depth as well.

We want to make sure that these collections are indeed used, both in formal and informal educational contexts. While we’ve been successful in reaching out to cultural heritage enthusiasts, photography pros and amateurs via a plethora of online media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc.), we would like to adopt a more grounded strategy in collaborating with the field of education. We would like to build alliances and establish a dynamic dialogue with teachers, trainers and learners. With this paper we want to launch a ‘call to action’ towards educational organisations that want to integrate Europeana content in their daily practice: let’s get in touch and join forces to make Europeana the ultimate teaching tool.
@InProceedings{TAES2017EUR,
author = {Taes, S. and Truyen, F.},
title = {EUROPEANA THEMATIC COLLECTIONS AND EDUCATION: ALLIANCES FOR OPEN CONTENT},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0793},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0793},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {9091}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Taes AU - F. Truyen
TI - EUROPEANA THEMATIC COLLECTIONS AND EDUCATION: ALLIANCES FOR OPEN CONTENT
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0793
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 9091
EP - 9091
ER -
S. Taes, F. Truyen (2017) EUROPEANA THEMATIC COLLECTIONS AND EDUCATION: ALLIANCES FOR OPEN CONTENT, ICERI2017 Proceedings, p. 9091.
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