F. Truyen, S. Taes

Europeana is Europe's main digital portal on Cultural Heritage. It contains over 50 million objects provided by European Libraries, Archives and Museums digitized by professionals, with high quality metadata. Photoconsortium is an association for the promotion of Photographic Heritage that brings together Europe’s leading photography Archives. It delivered a collection of about 450.000 images from early photography 1839-1939 to Europeana. Together with Europeana Photoconsortium is now working on a thematic channel on Photography for Europeana, comparable to what has been done for the Art History, Music and Fashion collections. With these collections Europeana plays to the full its role as the Digital Library of European Cultural Heritage, and makes this content more accessible for educational use, both in secondary as well as higher education.

An extensive selection of curated images from the first 100 years of photography will henceforth be accessible through a new online platform, hosted by Virtual exhibitions, themed galleries, predefined queries, blog posts and many more features will shed light on the hidden gems of this unique treasure trove. For the contributing partner institutions this is an incredible opportunity to globally promote interesting collections that would otherwise have stayed under the radar. But educators and creative industries may rejoice too, as improved search tools are bound to make the Europeana Photography Thematic Collection an unmissable resource. Finally, photography enthusiasts too will be treated to the best of the best: high-end images and compelling stories with top-notch provenance in a safe online environment. The educational impact is of particular importance since the thematic collection contains hitherto unpublished archive photographs from across the European continent, allowing for untold historical stories. In particular, the addition of archives from the Baltic and Central European states offers opportunities to enrich history schoolbooks with new materials and insights.

The Europeana Photography thematic channel will bring photos in good resolution of which the majority is free for reuse, as it contains both Public Domain marked material and images shared with a Creative Commons license. Europeana offers a diversity of tools to engage with these contents, so that they can be integrated in other websites or applications. In particular, we will highlight a tool to build your own photostories using Europeana images, with the possibility to contribute own photographs. We will also show a tool to build virtual pop-up museums with this content.

In this paper we will showcase some of the contents and stories that can be used in the context of secondary or higher education, highlighting specific collections on the one hand and covering some broader topics such as Belle Epoque and aspects of photography on the other. We are convinced that the availability of large open resources such as Europeana empowers educators to build their own resources for teaching online.