F. Truyen

In EuropeanaPhotography (, members of Photoconsortium ( and partners contributed over 450.000 images from early photography to Europeana (, which currently holds more than 30 million objects of cultural heritage, many of which are open for reuse. A showcase gallery is available at While Europeana and similar open collections such as Flickr commons and WikiMedia Commons now hold an incredibly rich resource of materials from trusted sources, they are still underused by education. This is the case for history books in schools, where often a too limited scope and vision on history is presented while there is ample material available to give a more innovative and comprehensive view. But these open collections also offer opportunities for MOOCs, to make sure the content is not only rich but also open in the true sense of the word.

In contrast to images you can simply find on Google, images in these highly curated databases have ample metadata and are true to the source. You can be assured of proper digitization, authenticity and integrity of the digital image.

In this paper we want to show with concrete case studies stemming from EuropeanaPhotography, where we uploaded more than 450.000 images from early photography to Europeana, how these collections can transform teaching about Europe and can be reused in MOOCs. The most important and well known photo archives of Europe – from cities like Paris, London, Vienna, Rome, Girona etc. have contributed to this collection – both public and private, but there are also new treasures from countries like Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Lithuania, which have been made accessible to all for the first time. The captivating images show the life of people in the streets of European cities from the first 100 years of photography 1839-1939.

In the follow-on CIP project Europeana Space (, we are investigating how creative reuse of these collections can be stimulated, for research, education as well as new business development, e.g. through apps for touristic use. We will showcase the demonstrators we developed as well as results from the hackathon we have organized. In the Europeana Space “Creative with Digital Heritage” MOOC, which is in development on the edX platform, you will find documentation and instruction how to use Europeana Labs and Europeana Space API’s and tools to reuse and remix collection images, targeted at 3 levels: students and teachers, GLAM professionals and developers. We will show how teachers can create online stories with these collections.

One of the factors that has a major influence on reusability are image copyrights. Extensive documentation on Open Publishing policies and how to handle IPR issues has been produced; the key results are presented in this paper. We will discuss the importance of Europeana’s Licensing framework and its recently launched Publishing framework, and show from our own practice the benefits of Creative Commons licenses for the GLAM sector and education. An overview will be offered of the most important open resources on digital Cultural Heritage available for education.